Government launches public consultation into online advertising

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Government launches public consultation into online advertising

The UK Government has launched a public consultation into online advertising practices which aims to look at the regulatory framework of paid-for online advertising to address the “evident lack of transparency and accountability across the whole supply chain.” It will also consider whether those within it should do more to combat harmful advertising including social media platforms and search engines.

The placement and content of online advertising is overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority through self-regulation, but developments in technology have transformed the scale of online advertising resulting in concern over increased consumer harm.

Regulating online ads is obviously not an easy task and with the UK leading the market in Europe for advertising it’s not surprising that the current system of self-regulation is showing signs of strain.

The consultation will address a range of options to be considered such as; strengthening current self-regulation, introducing new regulations with tough enforcement powers, fines and advertising bans/blocks, increased scrutiny of high-risk advertising and investigatory powers.

Whilst not always openly admitted, UK legislation is often a global benchmark and many striking similarities to UK and EU law appear in other jurisdictions where the DCB market is more active such as the UAE. We’re therefore urging our partners worldwide to share their views on this consultation which will highlight potential changes to advertising regulations that could appear over the coming months or years in other jurisdictions.

Mark Robinson, CEO at Infomedia said, “We aim to be back at the forefront of providing DCB services in the UK, which is the largest market in Europe for advertising and 4th largest in the world by ad spend. The consultation will not only provide invaluable insights for the DCB industry, but will pave the way for trust in online advertising to be re-built leading to improved click rates and revenue.

The Online Advertising Programme consultation will be open for 12 weeks from Wednesday 9 March 2022. The government intends to respond to the consultation and outline proposals to reform online advertising later in 2022.

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