Cloud Industry Forum endorses new ASA internet powers


Cloud Industry Forum endorses new ASA internet powers

Warwick Ashford

The UK's Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has welcomed the extension of the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) remit to cover online media.

From 1 March 2011 online marketing and ads will be subject to the same strict advertising rules as traditional media.

This means the ASA will have the power to ban non-compliant marketing statements on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Andy Burton, chairman of CIF, said the ASA will have the ability to demand the removal of paid-for links to pages hosting a banned ad.

The ASA will also be able to place its own online ads highlighting an advertiser's continued refusal to comply with one of its rulings.

The extra cost of the ASA's expanded remit will be met by an initial £200,000 contribution from Google and an extension of the 0.1% voluntary levy on paid-for advertisements that currently funds the ASA.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the body responsible for writing the regulations, said it had decided to extend the ASA's powers in response to a formal recommendation from a wide cross-section of UK industry.

"This is a vital step forward for the industry and it will mean that the consumer has greater protection," said Burton.

The ASA activity is aligned to CIF's belief that it is essential to build trust online by having transparency of online operations, as well as clarity of a supplier's capability and accountability, he said.

CIF plans to unveil its own code of practice for the cloud computing industry next week, after a public consultation on a draft code in the past two months.

The code of practice is aimed at setting up a clear, professional and trustworthy approach to the delivery of cloud services.

The CIF plans to use the code as a framework to standardise and certify cloud service providers. The code is a key part of CIF's mission since its inception in 2009 to promote trust, security and transparency within the cloud computing services industry.

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