Insights Ofcom publishes statement on regulation of advertising on video sharing platforms (VSPs)

In November 2020 Ofcom was given new powers, under the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020, to regulate VSPs established in the UK. These include a duty to ensure that standards around advertising are met.

Following consultation, Ofcom has decided that the regulatory framework should reflect the distinction in the Communications Act 2003 between VSP-controlled and non-VSP controlled advertising as follows:

  • 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 designating the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) as co-regulator with responsibility for day-to-day regulation of VSP-controlled advertising, 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. Under the framework, Ofcom will assess whether the measures taken by VSPs to protect users are appropriate.

Ofcom has also published its final guidance designed to help VSPs to understand and comply with their advertising obligations. To read Ofcom’s statement and to access the guidance, click here.