Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Online Advertising business will soon slip under a common umbrella of valid regulations for all parties involved: as of 1 March 2011 the online ads will become subject to the same strict advertising rules as traditional media!
The Advertising Standards Authority will be getting enough online power to be able to ban marketing statements on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Moreover,the new rules will apply to adverts and any statement on a commercially-lead website that is intended to sell products or services.
First let's analyze the implications for PPC/SEO marketers:
1. The ASA will be given new sanctions against online ads found to be in breach of its regulations,
2. It will also handle the removal of paid-for search advertising and the right to place its own advertisements highlighting an advertiser's non-compliance. (It could seem pretty harsh and at the same time may potentially raise awareness over online advertising malpractices and thus, may question respective brand's reliability...what do you think?)
3. Although the rules only apply to content that is not editorial or journalistic in nature, - that leaves some confusion for SEO companies:
It becomes obvious from ASA's statement that paid search will be part of the ASA’s remit. What stays unclear is whether the ASA will punish the paid search company or the company being advertised? also, will that imply potentially increased costs for PPC service providers?
4. From an SEO perspective, blog writing doesn’t seem to fall under the new regulations as that’s “editorial” in nature. However, many businesses are covering "corporate blogging" writing about company's products/services – these may be interpreted as commercial in nature and thus - restricted,too?
5. Social Media will fall under ASA's coverage,too - which promissed to remove pieces of advertising or marketing from Facebook and Twitter. The question is: how will ASA decide which piece is advertising and which one is marketing? I guess a set of criteria made public would do the deal, otherwise - it will stir enough confusion..
Finally, some Take-Away Stats:
1. Out of 35 million UK daily online users just 3,500 made official complaints to the ASA, which comprises just 0.01% of all users;
2.75% of the complaints received by the ASA are about misleading content;
Your thoughts are welcome,
Print this post