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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Cumbernauld, Scotland, UK
    Posts
    734

    [UK] Are you ready for the ASA Online Marketing Regulation?

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) are known not to like the term "unlimited" in any advertising
    However, they only take action when they receive complaints

    Its remit is being extended to cover marketing on websites from 01 March 2011

    http://www.cap.org.uk/The-Codes/CAP-Code.aspx

    Other changes that may catch many businesses out :
    3.18
    VAT may be excluded, but only if most customers do not pay VAT
    VAT exclusive prices may be used, but only where the amount or rate of VAT is shown
    3.23
    Some really confusing terms about "free" products
    In effect for webhosts this can no longer be used for Domain Names, as these are non-refundable

    3.11
    "must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product"
    This is likely to be the term used against "unlimited" products
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    537
    I personally welcome this new regulation, it's hopefully going to be the end for hosting companies making unsustainable claims and prevent all this "leading provider" type rubbish from new hosts just a few weeks old, who cannot possibly have any basis for such a statement.

    A good example of this was a host I caught out a few days ago who posted on their about us page "xxx is recognised as one of UK's fast growing web hosting companies." I posted on their advert asking for evidence of this, and got no response, however they have now removed that statement from their website. Google still has the original page if anyone needs proof - its these types of 'companies' and the claims they make that are giving the hosting industry a bad name
    Last edited by SercoNetworks; 02-13-2011 at 10:23 AM. Reason: formatting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    39
    But is content advertising?
    I think the ASA are going to have to spend a long time explaining to people, making complaints, that they're not responsible for content and that those sort of claims should be directed to Trading Standards.

  4. #4
    In my opinion, if content is put on a website to boast about their achievements, or to entice people to signup with them, it is a form of advertising.

    That's why you have so many sites claiming 24/7 support, etc etc.

  5. #5
    And thanks for the post, I did not know about point 3.18

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Cumbernauld, Scotland, UK
    Posts
    734
    Quote Originally Posted by UKDirectHost View Post
    I did not know about point 3.18
    Yes, I think a lot of companies (not just website hosting) will fall foul of this

    The ASA have little power, but where a complaint is raised they normally take action through Trading Standards
    What the ASA do have power to do is to take action against the adverts, their content, and publication
    As such a website page may fall into this category, where a page outlines a product and/or service, leading to an order page
    The initial page will be covered by the ASA, the second page by Trading Standards
    M8 INTERNET : Simple and cost effective website hosting from the UK
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  7. #7
    Out of Fasthosts, UK2 and 123 Reg they all show ex-vat prices but only Fasthosts look like they will comply by showing the inc vat price.

    I don't see how they are going to police this for hosts as it would take a deep look into their customer database to know if most of their customers are people or vat registered businesses?

    Still its a a good move!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    30
    Out of Fasthosts, UK2 and 123 Reg they all show ex-vat prices but only Fasthosts look like they will comply by showing the inc vat price.
    you know the thing is without including the VAT price the price can look more feminine and more appealing to the end consumer.

    When I first got into the hosting game I found this strange and felt saying the price with VAT is a lot more stronger because you essentially say to the customer THIS IS THE PRICE YOU PAY.

    it just seems its common in the hosting game not to include taxes and charges, maybe because anyone in the world can purchase from you and they dont need to pay VAT.

    It will be interesting to see how the ASA works out for the hosting world and generally all websites, bit of mammoth task but I guess will be one of the aspects that makes the hosting industry become more established.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    28
    I think this is a positive move, although I do wonder what the actual impact will be. If it does cut back on the unscrupulous providers that advertise unlimited bandwidth and diskspace, list monthly prices that can only be obtained if you sign up for a minimum of 3 years and add a raft of extra charges upon check out then it'll be a good thing.
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