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Beware the ads of March

As of yesterday, March 1st, 2011, marketing online will never be the same again, because all marketing communications on websites now falls under the rules and regulations of the Advertising Standards Authority.

In other words, what you say on a website in any marketing communication comes under the scrutiny of the Code of Advertising Practice.  The Code already applies to paid search ads and its remit just got a lot wider.  So what online teeth does the watch dog have?  Well, paid search advertisements, such as Google Adwords ads, will be pulled if they link to a page hosting a non-compliant marketing communication on a website, and the ASA could run their own paid search ads alerting users to non-compliant advertisers, or to put it another way they’ll be named and shamed.

Seriously, this isn’t some kind of April Fools wind up that’s a month early.  Brands and other advertisers better beware, looks like there’s now more reason than ever to make sure “how you say it” online is just as important as what you say