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New rules for online marketing messages and communications

From the 1st March 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has extended their remit to include:

  • Advertisers’ own marketing messages on their own websites
  • Marketing communications in other non-paid-for space under the advertiser’s control, such as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Marketing communications on all UK websites, regardless of sector, type of businesses or size of organisation.

The ASA's new rules will clearly have an impact on everyone's website copy which creates an ideal opportunity for a website content audit to identify sections of your site that may need to be updated to clarify your message. An interesting example of how the rules could be applied (and potentially argued) was spotted by Ali Turnbull, a content strategist who questions whether 'a stone's throw' is an accurate enough description for the physical location of an office in relation to nearby facilities. You can read Ali's blog post about it here.

Social networks and email newsletter campaigns aren't excluded either, so in a world where businesses have multiple messages spread across several platforms, you need to make sure you're not likely to fall foul of the new regulations.

It's worth pointing out that not everything is subject to these new rules; only advertisements and other marketing communications.

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Andrew is the founder of multi-award winning A Digital and believes that technology should be an enabler, making a positive impact on the way people live and work.

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