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Sunday, 13 May 2007

Internet advertising complaint department is very busy

The (British) Advertising Standards Authority has just published their 2006 Annual Report: the changing face of advertising. This report (.pdf) reveals that (in the U.K.) the number of complaints about internet advertising in rose by 33%, which makes is the 2nd most complained non-broadcast format. Five years ago, in 2001, the Internet ranked as the eighth most complained about of all nonbroadcast media.
This has of course to do with the importance of internet as an advertising medium. And with the fact that the online audience does not hesitate to use it's own medium backchannel to complain about advertising that is offensive to them.
Curious? Have a look at the Top 10 most complained about ads: the number one is a really weird ad from the Gay Police Association.
The ASA is, by the way, not able to sanction "faulty" internet ads. But they do have a clear mission: "It isn't just the change in advertising that has been remarkable over recent decades, but where and how that advertising appears." The challenge is not to create innovative advertising, but to make sure advertising techniques and concepts remain "legal, decent, honest and thruthful - and socially responsible too."

Found via 901am.com.


Danny Meadows-Klue said...

There's only a tiny amount of advertising online that ever causes concern, but when we first began extending self regulation from print and outdoor advertising across to the web back in 1996, the aim was to provide a single umbrella and a solid support framework.

That model has evolved a little, but the UK still offers some useful pointers for other people getting drawn into this debate. When a group of us met at the EASA workshops in Budapest last month, we talked a lot about the models that could work for different countries. My personal view is that all IABs should be active participants in the debate, and that self-regulation (rather than by regulation by government) is not only the best result for industry, but also (because of its flexibility and adaptability) the best for consumers.

If anyone would more background on this then I can research some links or email over the background and a few issues. Getting self-regulation right is quite a challenge; but not taking part in the process would be a failure.

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