Times Are A Changing In The Digital Dimension


With the new ASA guidelines for online marketing coming into effect on the 1st March 2011, does this mean a holiday to Malaga for £32 online, will actually be £32?

Sieving through the thirty thousand holiday deals, offered by the thirty thousand holiday supermarket sites, is stressful enough. Now throw in the fact that after spending 10 menial minutes filling in all the fields needed to get one step closer to purchase, your holiday has gone from its original £32, to £232. What this is, other than the cause for your laptop being hurled across the room, is false advertising. 

As a consumer, I am very familiar with seeing these ‘lies’ online. However, as a naïve consumer, I don’t seem to learn. I forever click on these misleading online prices and only when I have filled in all relevant information, do I realise (yet again) that I have been duped. Now while I loathe myself for being an eternal optimist who hopes that one day, one click will lead to one hell of an offer, I should not have to deal with blatant misleads. After all, we don’t when we’re watching the ads in Corrie. So why should we online? 

This is where the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) come in. As you are no doubt aware, the ASA is a self-regulatory body that regulate advertising content in the UK, for the benefit of the consumer. Although the organisation does not have the power to impose legislation, its code of practice sets out ‘clear signals about what is and is not acceptable in advertising across a wide range of sectors’, including TV, radio, and now digital. As of March 1st the ASAs online law will cover marketing campaigns on a company’s own website and other ‘free-space’ online that is under their control. 



Do you think this new legislation will cause the vast array of misleading online content, to plunge into the depths of digital abyss? And more importantly, will I get my holiday to Malaga for £32?

All details of the new guidelines can be found on the CAP website


By Holleh Nowrouz




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