Regulation is an evil necessity in the world of advertising. With claim and counterclaim, someone has to arbitrate as to just how far an advertiser can go.
And so it is that from 1 March 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority will become charged with a new duty to ensure that statements and claims made by advertisers on websites, including the likes of Twitter and Facebook, are factually true and not misleading. Previously, the power only extended to paid for adverts and sales promotions.
Under the new rules, the ASA will be able to punish firms that breach the rules with naming and shaming in a special section of it's website. Further, offending paid for advertising could be removed from search engines and if the offender fails to comply with all orders, the ASA could take out it's own paid for adverts on search engines to detail non compliance.
This was first published in January 2011