The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) annual report for 2014 clearly demonstrated that there are very justifiable concerns regarding misleading content in online /digital advertising and promotion.
They reveal a 35% increase in complaints about online advertising. In 2014, the Internet overtook television for the first time as the most complained about medium, with 13,477 complaints received. From our own experience, this is very much the tip of the iceberg - and that may be because consumers are not yet fully aware that the ASA remit covers Internet based advertising.
The ASA can investigate all of the following:
- Banner and display ads
- Paid for (sponsored) search - including Google Ads
- Marketing / statements on businesses' own websites
- Suspicious reviews
In addition, their remit extends to commercial emails and SMS text message ads.
Where it may be outside of their UK jurisdiction, they can often also refer it to the authority in another country. Information on cross border complaints can be found on this link - https://www.asa.org.uk/About-ASA/Working-with-others/Cross-border-complaints.aspx. And the full details of what the ASA covers can be found here - https://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers/What-we-cover.aspx.
KwikChex would like to express their gratitude to the ASA for their professionalism, fairness and diligence. We have submitted many complaints to them and have always found them to operate to the very highest standards. We will continue to work with them and wish them well with their continuing endeavours to protect consumers.