June 7, 2021
Last year, Ofcom was given new powers, under the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations amending the Communications Act 2003, to regulate VSPs established in the UK. These include a duty to ensure that standards on advertising are met.
Ofcom is proposing a regulatory framework which reflects the distinction made in the 2003 Act between VSP and non-VSP controlled advertising:
- VSP-controlled advertising: VSPs are legally responsible for ensuring that any advertising they market, sell or arrange themselves meets certain requirements to protect users from potential harm; Ofcom is proposing that day-to-day regulation of VSP-controlled advertising is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority, with Ofcom as a statutory backstop regulator; and
- Non-VSP-controlled advertising: for advertising not marketed, sold or arranged by VSP providers, VSPs are legally required to take appropriate measures to ensure such adverts meet the user-protection requirements; Ofcom is proposing that it will assess whether the measures taken by VSPs to protect users are appropriate.
Ofcom has also published draft guidance designed to help VSPs to understand and comply with their advertising obligations.
Ofcom is seeking views from interested and affected parties by 5pm on 28 July 2021. To access the consultation, click here.