ASA launches awareness campaign

The Advertising Standards Authority has launched its first above-the-line marketing campaign in five years today (17 January) to highlight that it will be regulating marketing communications on company websites from 1 March.

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The business to business activity will promote the ad watchdog’s extended remit. It warns that online communication on company sites or on social media platforms such as Facebook need to be “legal, decent, honest and truthful”.

The online and press ads also encourage businesses to seek advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP) advice service to ensure compliance.

Until now, the ASA’s online remit and CAP’s non-broadcast codes have covered only paid-for marketing communications such as pop-up and banner ads, paid search and viral ads.

Companies found to be in breach of the codes could be the subject of an online ASA ad highlighting an advertiser’s non-compliance. Ads that link to the page hosting the non-compliant marketing communication may be removed with the agreement of the search engines.

The campaign was created by AMV BBDO, while OMD handled media planning and buying. Both worked on a pro-bono basis. Ads will be delivered through space donated by media owners.

A second, consumer-focused campaign is planned for March and will appear on TV, radio, cinema, outdoor, online and print.

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