Ad watchdog’s campaign to inform of new powers

The Advertising Standards Authority is getting set to launch its first above-the-line marketing campaign in five years to highlight that it will be regulating marketing communications on company websites from 1 March 2011.

The watchdog confirmed last month that the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP) non-broadcast codes will apply to all marketing communication on company websites and social media platforms such as Facebook.

The watchdog will launch two campaigns to promote the extension of its remit.

The first, planned for January, is a business-to-business campaign that will call on companies to ensure their sites are compliant by seeking advice from CAP Services.

A second, broader campaign is planned for March and aims to communicate the work that the ASA does to make sure ads are compliant, decent, honest and truthful as well as explaining that its remit has been extended to marketing communications online.

Until now, the ASA’s online remit and CAP’s 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.

AMV BBDO will create the campaign, while OMD will handle media planning and buying. Both will work on a pro-bono basis.

It is hoped that the campaign will be delivered through donated space by media owners across digital, outdoor, radio, print and broadcast platforms.

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