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The CAP has published guidance to assist advertisers to stay compliant with the advertising codes when operating in the social media space. Advertisers must make it easy for the average consumer to be able to judge whether or not they are seeing an ad, for example, by using #spon or #ad when advertising on Twitter. Advertisers should also be conscious of the fact that all media in any form including images, video, and text will be caught by the advertising rules protecting children and will always need to consider whether content is appropriate for where it is displayed, and who it can be seen by. Most interestingly, in relation to use of user-generated content in advertising, the guidance provides that if advertisers positively invite a conversation, for example through a promotional question ‘How have you used [our product / service] today?’, then CAP expects advertisers to monitor the user-generated responses, because they become part of the advertising. Advertisers also have to ensure that content being added (including text, images and videos) is appropriate for the audience, and does not breach any of the advertising rules. Advertisers who may, until now, have believed that they do not have responsibility for user-generated responses, will have to put in place systems to monitor and where appropriate, moderate or edit these responses. If you need any help on this or any aspect of social media regulation then you can contact Christopher Evans, a consultant in Druces LLP’s Corporate & Commercial Team.

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