In September, the code set up by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is due to be extended and because of this, the Advertising Standards Authority plans to launch its first consumer marketing campaign. The aim of the campaign will be to raise awareness of its regulation of all online advertising.
Andrew Burgess, Managing Director of Equi=Media, is positive about the changes while wanting to understand more about the responsibilities for policing the new rules:
"An extension of the CAP code can only be a good thing. Any steps taken to protect internet users should be applauded and those companies that fail to abide by the rules should be reprimanded and if necessary, penalised by the industry.
However I’m intrigued to hear how the ASA intends to police the initiative. Will monitoring activity be the responsibility of ISPs or of search engines? Whilst it’s good to have a uniform body guarding the regulation of online activity, it will be difficult to regulate the code now that it is so far reaching. Additionally, with web content continually evolving, a proper policing system is not only time consuming, but hugely expensive.
The key to the CAP’s success will depend on how well it is integrated with existing regulations. A large part of what we already do for our clients involves ensuring their websites meet the standards and rules set by their own industries. I applaud the extent of codes in place which act in the interest of internet users, but the industry needs to establish some uniformity between the relevant regulatory codes."
Read more on the NMA website.