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From 1 March 2011, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code will be extended to apply to advertising and marketing communications on an organisation's own website and in other non-paid-for online space under the organisation's control, for example on social networking sites. The significantly extended remit follows the introduction of the new CAP Code on 1 September 2010.
The CAP Code already applies to advertisements in paid-for online advertising space. However, from March next year, the rules will apply to the majority of online content, including advertising and marketing communications on an organisation's own website and those posted on Facebook, Twitter and other sites on an organisation's behalf. The new remit will apply to all businesses, regardless of sector or size. Organisations have a few months' grace to brush up on the rules, train staff and adjust their advertising and marketing practices to ensure that they comply with the Code.
New sanctions for those who do not comply with the rules will also apply from 1 March, including the right for the Advertising Standards Authority to publicly "name and shame" offenders and to remove paid-for search advertisements that link to non-compliant marketing.
A copy of the new CAP Code can be obtained from the CAP website at www.cap.org.uk