Websites are regulated as an advertisement by the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) and subject to the British Code of Advertising Practice (“BCAP”) Non-Broadcast rules. The key aspects of BCAP are around:
- Social responsibility, legality and fair competition
- Transparency, not disguising marketing material as anything other than an advertisement
- Avoiding misleading advertising especially “free” offers, limited stock availability, comparisons and testimonials.
- Avoiding harm or offence.
- Special rules for adverts directed at children or featuring them.
- Privacy standards
- Promotional standards for competitions, prize draws and other incentives
- Sector specific rules.
Over recent years the website has become the location for information to meet various, criss-crossing, standards. And the standards change to meet new laws, new interpretation and developing guidance.
We recommend to our clients that websites are compliance checked for mandatory content every six months and prior to any new website going live. For help with website checking see our DPaaS product, we offer data protection and website compliance support on retainer and will carry out routine website reviews on behalf of clients to ensure that legal requirements are being met.
Mandy P Webster, Data Protection Consultant