Monday, August 6, 2012

Australia Rules Social Media Brand Pages Are Ads

In Australia, social media is no longer considered just a medium to connect with your friends or family. It has now been officially recognized as a form of advertising that should be treated in the same manner as other advertising platforms.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a new ruling may require Australian companies to vet comments posted by the public on their social media pages to ensure they are not sexist, racist or factually inaccurate. Companies doing business in Australia may be fined for comments that appear on their social media brand pages. The Australian Standards Board "determined that the provisions of the Code (advertising) apply to an advertiser’s Facebook page."

The increasing regulation of social and digital media is expected. It is the natural progression of the acceptance of social media as a legitimate advertising and monetization avenue for brands. Last year, the U.S. Better Business Bureau took a stand against unethical social media advertising practices and this occurred soon after the FTC started to crack down on fake online reviews.

Therefore, I believe the Federal Trade Commission may soon increase its social media advertising enforcement.

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