March 8th, 2011

U.K. Ad Police Alter Rules to Include All Online Marketing

Ad Age Global

It’s a huge project, and some say it can’t be done, but March 1, the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority began regulating not only paid-for online advertising, but all online marketing communications.

U.K.-based companies must also now adhere to the ASA’s “legal, decent, honest, truthful” code that sets the standard for British advertising in online and offline worlds. Simple enough, you might think, and many in the industry believe that this extension of the ASA’s remit will bring extra credibility to companies’ online activities, marking a “coming of age” of the internet.

But the web can be a wild place, and some people like it that way. Damian Mitchell, creative technologist at Glue Isobar, said, “It was the openness of the internet that inspired many of us in the industry to get involved with digital in the first place, since it provided a no-holds-barred platform on which to express and share ideas, regardless of how distasteful or inspirational they were. We should be able to embrace the world in all its glory, regardless of our own moral, ethical or cultural perspectives.”

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