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AP code expansion into digital
In March, the Advertising Standards Authority will expand theCommittee of Advertising Practice to cover the digital sector. Theprecise details of how this will affect online advertisers are yet toemerge, but what is certain is that digital marketers will need toensure that in future; every strategy they launch is able to withstandmore intense scrutiny than ever before.
The CAP code addresses socially responsible and truthful advertising,maintaining that digital teams should be responsible with regard to theirconsumer campaigns and ensure they uphold
taste, decency and fairness
atall times. A subject the UK government is very much behind at the moment, it isexpected to become an important running theme over the years ahead.While discussion over its practical implications willdominate much of the year, the move is almost certain toresult in a tougher regulatory regime for all online activity.Digital marketers will need to be careful of the competitiveclaims they make, ensure that quoted prices are inclusive of VAT and other added charges, provide limited stock warnings and cope with increased regulation around thehealth, medical, gambling and charity sectors.Make no mistake: every aspect of digital marketing is likelyto be affected by the ASA’s expansion into the channel and,given that many of the specifics are to be sorted out using ablend of precedent and on the fly judgements by acommittee of experts, nobody can be exactly sure how.Fortunately the regulatory body has demonstrated real willingness to work alongside the industry as the details are threshed out over the coming months,but in the meantime there are a number of areas where brands can benefit fromensuring their online activities will not fall foul of the new rules.