Marketinglaw Update: May 2021

Published on 14th May 2021

This month's articles include coverage on: the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)'s jurisdictional remit, the ASA's Annual Report, influencers in trouble (as always), the CMA's study on the harm caused by algorithms, the ASA's latest study on protecting children online, and the Information Commissioner's Office resuming its investigation into the adtech industry.

Online Safety, harm and protecting users

The theme of protecting users and online safety is hugely important in 2021. In light of the ASA's Annual Report and its focus on protecting young and vulnerable people, as well as the wait for the UK's draft online safety legislation, you may be interested in our recent webinar Digital Commerce, Platforms and Social Media: Online Harms. The webinar covered the Digital Services Act plus German, French and UK legislation, such as NetzDG and the upcoming UK online safety law.

You can request a recording and find out more about our recent and upcoming international media and entertainment webinar programme on our website. We also have a hub on our website with our latest articles and updates covering online safety.

Digital regulation timeline

With so much happening in the digital regulatory space at the moment, you might be interested to hear that we have created a UK and EU Digital Regulation timeline that is accessible from a web browser. The timeline sets out laws and regulations that are already in force and in the pipeline. It is still in 'beta mode' but, if you're interested in accessing this, please get in touch with me.


Latest News

The ASA updates its jurisdiction
Following the ASA's consultation regarding the scope of the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) and jurisdictional matters, the wording relating to the scope of the CAP Code was modified.
Read more >

ASA Annual Report 2020: Protecting young and vulnerable people
The ASA has released its 2020 Annual Report. For the ASA, 2020 was all about keeping people safe, in particular, young and vulnerable people.
Read more >

The CMA's scrutiny of algorithms: just how harmful are they to consumers and competition?
On 19 January 2021, the DaTA unit of the UK's CMA published a paper, and accompanying call for information, on "Algorithms: How they reduce competition and harm consumers" which focusses on the potential harm caused by the use of algorithms by market participants.
Read more >

Won’t somebody please think of the children (Part 3)!?
The ASA has published its third report in its year-long project aimed at monitoring and tackling age-restricted ads appearing in children’s online media.
Read more >

Spam text messaging during the Covid-19 pandemic: the ICO dishes out £330,000 worth of fines
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined two companies a total of £330,000 for sending, between them, 2.7 million spam text messages during the Covid-19 pandemic and issued enforcement notices ordering them to stop sending unlawful marketing messages.
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The ICO: It's time to take another look at real time bidding
Having paused work in May 2020, earlier this year the ICO resumed their investigation into real-time bidding (RTB) and the adtech industry.
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Price promotions: if it isn’t true, the ASA will rule against you!
The ASA has recently cracked down on a number of retailers making unreasonable or misleading price claims and a few examples of this are outlined in this article.
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ASA issues a warning to influencers
In September 2020, the ASA monitored the social media accounts of 122 influencers that it had previously contacted for a period of three weeks. The exercise reviewed over 24,000 posts on a social media platform and found that 25% of those posts were advertising but only 35% of those were clearly labelled and obviously identifiable as such.
Read more >

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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