The latest Lewis Silkin Ads & Brands Digest has all the highlights of recent months, including the launch of the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) “market study” of this sector. This widespread study will cover the market power of the giant tech platforms, lack of consumer control over their data, and the potential distortion of the opaque digital advertising market. The expected outcomes are regulatory and legislative reform, rather than direct intervention, though they will also assist the ICO in their own separate investigation.
Our August 2019 digest also looks at the ASA's latest weapon in its arsenal to tackle inappropriate, harmful, offensive and incorrectly targeted ads: avatars. No, they're not deploying James Cameron's tall, blue, bow and arrow wielding creatures to scan the horizon for wrongly targeted HFSS and gambling ads (but if that helps you picture this, you're welcome!)
We also look at some specific ASA rulings, including a reversal of fortune for the ASA in a Sky Bet ad (decision successfully reversed), how many followers make you a 'celebrity', why you shouldn't promote prescription drugs on Instagram, what's new in the world of domain names and data privacy (who is being fined, why, and how much), and more.
The CMA expects the outcome of its market study to be recommendations for regulatory and legislative reform, to allow intervention in the activities of online platforms and markets, rather than a focused market investigation. It will liaise with the Information Commissioners’ Office which is conducting similar investigations but focused upon the use of personal data in digital advertising.