The digital marketing strategy of a company in the UK is regulated by legislative rules specified for advertisers, media owners, agencies and technology businesses. There are over 100 pieces of legislation where the basic principle states the web agency should always bear in mind that the communication should be decent, truthful and officially permitted.
Furthermore, it should not include anything hateful, like race, religion, ethnicity, etc. The online marketing ad should not be misleading, and one should ensure the claims made are accurate and unambiguous, which can be sustained. Also, one should have a backup for their sayings and be able to provide evidence for it.
The claims should be made with a sense of responsibility to the viewers and society, and fair competition laws should be accepted.
Any viewer can complain to the ASA about non-compliance. These organisations receive over 30,000 complaints; sometimes, one particular ad may provoke several complaints – almost ten decisions are published weekly to handle it.
The biggest motivation is that companies that do not comply may get adverse publicity, and the ASA can impose restraints on them. The committee also introduced a scheme called the ad mark which is considered a safe harbour that can tell consumers about the rules.
There are regulations related to pricing where misleading prices can result in actions. The data protection act is about how a company handles the data gathered from the individual accessing the website. Such data is widely used in viral marketing.
Ads that lead to contracts should provide preliminary information to the customer, and a cancellation period should be granted. Competitive online marketing ads should not be misleading. It should display relevant content and may include the price.
The web agency should ensure not to create confusion in the marketplace by using indistinct trade identification; the name and distinguishing marks should be provided.
One cannot tarnish the competitor's identity like their goods, name or trademarks and cannot take unfair advantage of their reputation and should not offer products as replicas. For special offers, the date and other details should be provided.
In different countries, different regulatory bodies are responsible for handling the code of conduct for internet marketing in the US.
However, the code is determined and enforced by the FTC, and it provides guidelines, and if one fails to comply, one can impose a substantial fine.
Local laws are becoming more aggressive, and countries impose bans on certain websites and restrict their accessibility.
EU has been trying to simplify the system by introducing the term called country of origin to ensure the jurisdiction is governed by the local laws and is not responsible for the laws of other countries.
But the term may not apply in the case of contracts, while many countries are trying to streamline their system to ensure fair commercial practices.