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BizReport : Advertising : January 18, 2016


ASA rules BuzzFeed/Dylon native advertising deceptive

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has pulled up BuzzFeed on native advertising that they felt was deceptive.

by Helen Leggatt

Native advertising rules and regulations have featured prominently in the news of late. In particular, the FTC's new guidelines that, among other things, aim to protect consumers from being deceived by native advertising that does not adequately let a reader know they are reading ad copy.

In the U.K. the country's ad watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has recently taken issue such native advertising. An article, '14 Laundry Fails We've All Experienced', featured on BuzzFeed, promoting Dylon's Colour Catcher product. The webpage featured a live Facebook feed on the top right hand side of the page, along with links to advertorial content from Dylon. The lengthy advertorial also ran with text alongside saying "Dylon Brand Publisher" next to a logo for Dylon's Colour Catcher product.

BuzzFeed felt that such labeling was enough to signal to readers that the content was advertorial rather than editorial, and the ASA agreed. However, while the labeling was apparent on its homepage and in search listings, the ASA said that because the advertorial could be accessed from other media channels the nature of the content was not always "immediately clear".

The ASA concluded in its ruling that the labeling "was not sufficient to make clear that the main content of the web page was an advertorial and that editorial content was therefore retained by the advertiser. The ASA further noted that "the web page was very long and visitors to it would therefore not see the reference to Dylon Colour Catcher at the bottom of the page until they had already engaged with the content" and that the "brand publisher" label and logo did not "adequately convey the commercial nature of the content to consumers".

A spokesman for BuzzFeed said: "We're currently reaching out to the ASA to speak with them about this recent update. We're always testing and iterating our ad products and will be reviewing the guidelines accordingly."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Advertising Standards Authority, FTC, native advertising, UK










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