From 1st March 2011, marketing communications on companies’ own websites and in other third party space under their control - including advertising on social networking sites - will be subject to rules to keep them legal, decent, honest and truthful; they will also have to adhere to the non-broadcast advertising rules as set out in the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code.
Currently the ASA only has jurisdiction over paid-for online or digital advertising, or online promotional marketing activity such as competitions. That means many companies and some digital agencies are unaware of the CAP Code. Some estimates suggest that as many as 80,000 companies that use their own websites for marketing purposes may now fall within the ASA’s remit.
To help businesses and website owners, the CAP (the industry body that writes the advertising codes) offers a full range of training and advice resources. Businesses and agencies are urged to sign up to CAP Services to ensure they are up to speed with how the extended remit will impact upon them and how they can avoid being in breach of the rules.
Tony Keel, Regional Director at Hays Marketing, comments: “Although the vast majority of marketers already adhere to the principles of ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’ communication, there is still a lot to be done in terms of raising awareness about the changes and getting some clarity on the distinctions between admissible and inadmissible marketing communications content. Businesses and agencies will have to plan for the changes and designate additional resources to ensure their web content complies with the new CAP Code rules.”