Deadline for ASA Call for Evidence: Recognition of Online Advertisements

The Advertising Standards Authority is reminding the industry that its call for evidence deadline is 13 April for the labelling and recognition of online ads, including native content on online news websites and content discovery network ads appearing on news websites that drive traffic to other content, including advertising.

It will then commission its own research, which is likely to include advertising on online news websites, prior to report with any recommendations. The ASA says that it currently wants to find out more about what types of labels allow people to understand that content is advertising in order to advise and regulate the industry in a way that is in tune both with the realities of how evolving digital platforms work and with people’s expectations and experience.’

At this stage, the ASA stresses that it is not consulting on policy, or seeking views and opinion, but is calling for sight of research and evidence. Relevant context might include advertising on news websites as above; paid-for ads and posts on social media; recommendation engines in online retail environments; and influencer marketing; on social media platforms, such as blogs and vlogs.

The ASA is also interested in the extent to which people may differ in their ability to identify ads: including whether some groups are more or less likely able to distinguish advertising from non-advertising content and the reasons for that; current practices for the labelling of online ads, including national and international examples.