Anyone advertising online will face much stricter rules and regulations from next month as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) begin monitoring the medium.
Until March 1st, the ASA could only monitor advertising on TV, in newspapers and on traditional billboards.
After this date, the Authority will have its powers extended to include the internet as well. The ASA will be regulating commercial websites and businesses who promote products using the internet, including social network platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
The main thing internet users will find from the change is the ability to make complaints about anything they find online that they find to be indecent or misleading.
The ASA has spent the last year getting ready for the changes, and has employed 10% more staff to deal with the extra work.
Matt Wilson from the ASA told the BBC, “The principle that ads have to be legal, decent, honest and truthful is now going to extend to companies claims on their own websites,”
Anything on a company’s own website can also be interpreted as advertising and will be subject to the same rules and regulations.
In the past year 2,500 people complained to the ASA about web activity, but they had no power to do anything.
From 1st March that will all change.