Advertising Standards Authority Plans To Strengthen Online Regulation


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has shared plans to strengthen its online regulation.

In its newly published annual report, the ASA revealed that it had amended or withdrew more ads than ever before in 2018. The report also revealed that the number of online cases has almost doubled compared to the number of television cases.

The ASA broke down its figures within the report, revealing that it resolved around 33,727 complains about 25,259 advertisements. Of those complaints, 16,059 of them were about 14,257 online advertisements while 10,773 complaints were about 5,748 television adverts.

The Committees of Advertising Practising (CAP), which is responsible for writing and maintaining advertising codes in the UK, shared over 535,000 pieces of advice to businesses to help them improve their adverts.

In a statement, Guy Parker, the Chief Executive at ASA, said: “It’s been a busy year, largely driven by complaints and cases about online ads. That’s why our new five-year strategy is focused on strengthening further the regulation of online advertising, and using new tech to protect the public.

“Our recent use of new avatar technology is a taste of what’s to come under the new strategy, and we look forward to working with our partners to increase further the impact we’re having online.”

The ASA’s Plans

Alongside the ASA’s annual report, the organisation spoke on the steps that it had already taken to strengthen the regulation of online avatars. This includes the introduction of child avatars, which were designed to simulate children’s real-life browsing behaviour to identify the ads they see.

The ASA now plans on extending this technology as well as researching into new technology which can help protect children and the general public. Just months after introducing the technology, the ASA has already banned ads from five gambling operators. Lastly, the ASA has reviewed a number of actions the organisation can take to protect the financially vulnerable. This includes new guidance on gambling advertisements to protect underage people and much more.

The news comes after the ASA banned a William Hill advert for linking gambling to sexual success and after banning a Paddy Power Betfair advert featuring Rhodri Giggs for “glamorising gambling”.