Keeping safe and social

This
week the IAB hosted an event on ‘How to be safe and social’ to explore
how brands and consumers are protected when engaging in social media. This
follows research from the IAB and ISBA that found that only 55% of UK
brands currently have a social media policy with many also cautious about
the perceived lack of control they face when using social and embarking upon
real-time conversations with consumers.

We
welcomed four excellent speakers: Vikki Chowney from Reputation Online; Malcolm
Phillips from the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) – the industry body
that writes the self-regulatory rules; Ashley Hurst from legal firm, Olswang;
and Ben Carter from Betfair. The discussion was timely, as on 1 March, the
Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) extended digital remit goes live, bringing marketing communications within websites and social media into
the existing self-regulatory advertising system. The discussion was also lively,
particularly within the Twittersphere where there was a wide range of
views on whether the ASA’s extended digital remit is a good thing or not. You
can see the presentations from the event here.

The
IAB believes it is a good thing. As we’ve said before, it is good for
consumers and it is good for business – preserving the integrity of social
media allowing it to continue to grow as a marketing platform. The very nature
of the media will always mean that there will be grey areas (the ‘retweeting’
one seemed to be the most talked about)
and we enter unchartered waters for digital media self-regulation. It is also
good that the very nature of the media means that broader industry and the ASA
will be able to listen to everyone’s views, debate the issues and get
self-regulation right. Underpinned by the legal framework, the ASA system helps
fill in the gaps, is flexible and a more cost-effective way of resolving
disputes (than the courts): we should work with it.

You
can read the IAB’s new guide to digital advertising regulations here,
our FAQs specifically on the extended digital remit and / or visit CAP’s Copy Advice
service (which includes a website audit at a very reasonable price!).

Follow the IAB and / or me on Twitter.