The expansion of the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) digital remit will not affect online companies’ marketing techniques, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has said.

Caroline Roberts, director of public and legal affairs at the industry organisation, explained that the new agreement, which extends the ASA’s scope to include online marketing communications, does not change existing rules governing digital marketing.

Although B2B marketing firms and other companies that fail to adhere to standards set out by the ASA will not suffer any consequences, the ASA can take action against firms that fail to comply with CAP Code sanctions, requiring them to amend or withdraw offending material.

“The ASA is a self-regulatory body, so it doesn’t have the power to impose sanctions such as fines,” Ms Roberts commented.

“However, the ASA can [require firms] to seek pre-approval for all future adverts.”

From March 2011, the rules in the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing will apply in full to marketing communications online, as will the rules relating to misleading advertising, social responsibility and the protection of children.

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