UK watchdog: 95% of online advertising is compliant

UK watchdog: 95% of online advertising is compliant

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has found 95% of 120 websites assessed in various sectors including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are compliant with its code of practice.

Nicky Loadsman and James Duckworth, from UK legal firm Bond Pearce, noted the results, which confirmed an earlier scan, bucked expectation.

“Both surveys revealed a compliance rate of 95% which the ASA says challenges the view that websites ‘commonly and flagrantly include advertising that ignore generally accepted standards on truthfulness, harm and offence’,” they wrote in a blog.

The ASA survy looked at five pages per website between September and October last year in sectors like entertainment, leisure, retail, travel, technology, education, charities, automotive, cosmetics and fast moving consumer goods including food.

The agency noted however that the survey was, “only a snapshot” and, “the results should be set against its work regulating website marketing generally, which indicates that levels of compliance vary significantly across different industries.”

Recorded breaches were in the technology and cosmetics sectors over false claims and pricing schemes.

Between March 2011 and October 2012, the ASA recorded almost 3,000 online breaches of the Code with 27% of the 3,000 cases related to the health and beauty sector.

The ASA compliance team has made it clear it will continue to be proactive in 2013.

The ASA survey can be found here.

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