Twitter feeds and Facebook profiles under scrutiny
From 1 March, online marketing and ads from UK firms will be subject to the same strict advertising rules as traditional media. For the first time ASA can police what companies say about themselves online.
Now, as with paid-for advertising, no marketing statements are allowed to harm, mislead or offend. Companies will be forced to take down any non-compliant text.
The ASA says its powers will help tackle a growing number of complaints about the way companies sell themselves online.
Since 2008, the watchdog has received more than 4,500 complaints concerning text on websites that it could do nothing about.
Rob McCann, Web Developer from Carswell Gould, said: “It's great the ASA has taken steps to ensure a fair and level playing field for those trading online. The ethos of transparency online is something the industry should be pushing, because as consumers we believe this will strengthen our confidence and trust in social commerce.
“However, I have my doubts about how the ASA will enforce this and whether it is possible to manage. I hope and believe that the developments in social media and digitial commuincation will eventually help them reach their objectives as more and more people challenge organisations who trade unfairly online."
If you're worried about whether you pass the new rules, talk to us today for a free digital health check.
For further information go to the ASA website.
Read the Guardian's take on the story and its readers' comments.