The government has launched its Online Advertising Programme consultation which will review the regulatory framework of paid-for online advertising in a bid to improve transparency and accountability and tackle harmful, offensive and misleading adverts. Amongst other things, the consultation includes proposals to:
- reform online advertising regulations to include more powers for regulators to tackle harmful, offensive and misleading adverts;
- force social media sites and search engines to restrict fraudsters and scammers from using their platforms;
- introduce tougher penalties for influencers failing to declare payments for promoting products; and
- implement tougher rules and sanctions for harmful or misleading adverts.
The consultation closes on 1 June 2022.
In tandem with the consultation, the government has made changes to the Online Safety Bill to tackle scam adverts. A new legal duty will be added to the Bill requiring the largest social media companies and search engines to prevent paid-for fraudulent ads appearing on their platforms.