This week, (Wednesday, 25th November), I welcomed Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, for a virtual fireside chat on emerging trends in the advertising and marketing industry and how the ASA is adapting to them.

We covered a wide range of current and fascinating topics, including:

•  The ASA’s increasing use of technology, such as media monitoring platforms and scam ad alert systems, to tackle illegal or misleading ads;

•  The lack of awareness (and sometimes disregard) of advertising rules among celebrities cashing in on their 15 minutes of fame, and the related issue of unlabelled influencer advertising;

•  The ASA’s position on Instagram’s “Paid Partnership” feature, and their willingness to tacitly accept that platform disclosure tool as an alternative to the #Ad label;

•  The government’s consultation concerned a total ban on all online advertising of High Fat Sugar Salt food products, and whether such a ban would be proportionate or even enforceable against overseas advertisers;

•  The recent rumours of a “backstop” regulator for online ads, possibly introduced by forthcoming DCMS recommendations, in an effort to promote social media accountability;

•  The ASA’s review of past rulings in light of this year’s Black Lives Matter movement;

•  The growing concerns about climate change and the role of advertising and the advertising industry in achieving net zero, as well as the dual challenge posed by defining and regulating the promotion of “excessive consumption” in ads; and

•  What the advertising industry can expect from the ASA in 2021.

Our fireside chat was recorded and can be viewed in full on YouTube here.

Alternatively, the main take-away points have been summarised in the article on our website here.