New disclosure requirements for native advertising to take effect 1 March

Baker McKenzie

From 1 March 2017, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics (Code) will include a new provision that requires advertising and marketing communications to be clearly distinguishable as such to the relevant audience.

Brand owners who engage in native advertising should be aware that:

-from 1 March 2017, the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) will have the power to adjudicate on consumer complaints regarding advertisements that are disguised as editorial content. The changes to the Code provide a new and fairly straightforward way to challenge native advertising.

-advertisers who fail to make adequate disclosures may be required by the ASB to discontinue or modify their advertising. Non-compliance may have significant PR consequences.

-the AANA has issued a Best Practice Guideline for Clearly Distinguishable Advertising to assist advertisers understand their new disclosure obligations. The new Guidelines indicate that the degree of control that an advertiser has over content is a key issue when it comes to assessing the need for, and nature of, any required disclosure.

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