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Bigmouthmedia, CAP and ASA in 2011

Bigmouthmedia, CAP and ASA in 2011

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Published by bigmouthmedia
Bigmouthmedia's whitepaper on the changes to the ASA regulations for digital marketing that came into effect in March 2011 in the UK
Bigmouthmedia's whitepaper on the changes to the ASA regulations for digital marketing that came into effect in March 2011 in the UK

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Published by: bigmouthmedia on Mar 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CAP Expansion into Digital
Andrew Girdwood
Media Innovations Directorbigmouthmedia
David Hardy
Media Development Directorbigmouthmedia
Page 2 of 15
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.
Page 3 of 15
The CAP code: to infinity and beyond
The organisation’s existing remit enables the ASA to regulate industry andconsumer facing advertising campaigns according to both the CAP and BCAPcodes of practice, two committees established to maintain advertising standardswith the aim of protecting consumers and promoting fair competition. Both theCAP and BCAP exist to uphold the key principles of fair advertising: that everycampaign is
legal, decent, honest and truthful.
However, with a remit goingbeyond simple content, the CAP code also addresses the administration of prizepromotions and database use.The decision to extend the CAP’s areas of operation was taken both to ensurethat the code remains media neutral while responding to calls for action fromadvertisers seeking fair competition. Pressure has also been brought to bear fromconsumer groups wishing to build public trust in online marketing and politicalbodies seeking reassurance that he regulatory body is taking the protection of children and the sensitivity of childhood into consideration.Clearly, online retailing will be the sector most obviously affected by the change,with campaigns that speak directly to the consumer about a product or servicecoming under the most intense scrutiny. Slogans such as “fastest broadband inthe land” will be subjected to investigation, for example, as the telecoms sectorfinds itself under increasingly close examination.Marketers are recommended to sign up to the ASA’s weekly adjudications email(see the ASA website).
Whilst this reflects bigmouthmedia’s current opinion on this issue, the contents of this whitepaper are of a general nature only and do not constitute specific advice from bigmouthmediaor the CAP or ASA. This white paper does not take into account your circumstances or needsand must not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice.BMM/LBi, the CAP and ASA disclaim any and all responsibility and/ or liability for your actionsas a consequence of relying on this white paper.

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