The ASA has this week launched a research project to ensure that its approach to ad labelling online (through the CAP Code) is correct. It is inviting stakeholders to submit evidence on how people understand labels and disclosures that are intended to indicate that online content is in fact advertising.
Disclosures such as #ad, “paid for ad” and “ad link” are all likely to be under review.
The ASA has said:
"In recent years advertisers have increasingly used online platforms to reach people in new ways: native and influencer advertising have become commonplace.
As the UK’s advertising regulator we expect it to be obvious to people when they are being advertised to. Broadly speaking, we take native and influencer advertising to mean payment (or payment in kind), and messages controlled, by the brand."
While the ASA is conducting its own public research, anyone wishing to submit evidence must do so by Friday 13th April 2018.
We are calling for evidence on people’s understanding of labels and other identifiers that are intended to indicate that online content is advertising. Ads that are not obviously identifiable as such have the potential to mislead people and damage trust in advertising.