Chinese Whispers: Partner Jonathan P Armstrong of Duane Morris discusses how to tackle the regulatory risks of social media

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Government bodies around the world are getting increasingly involved in regulating how social media is used.

On 1 March 2011, the UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising (known as the CAP Code) was extended to the online environment. The CAP Code rules apply to any firm’s marketing communications on its own website. The rules had already covered paid internet ads but now extend to non-paid marketing space, including on social media applications like Facebook and Twitter. This means that any comment by a firm must not mislead, harm or offend.

In addition, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the UK has the power to regulate social media by virtue of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs). In the limited space available in Twitter messages or Facebook or LinkedIn status updates, it is relatively easy to fall foul.

As an example, OFT used the CPRs to take enforcement action against PR agency Handpicked Media in December 2010. Handpicked operated a network of bloggers and niche websites across a variety of sectors.

Please see full article below for more information.

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