Ofcom says proposals aim to be simple, straightforward, and platform and technology neutral
In November 2020 Ofcom was given new powers under the amended Audio Visual Services Directive via the Communications Act 2003 to regulate video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK.
The Act requires VSP providers to take appropriate measures, as set out in Schedule 15A to the Act, to protect their users from harmful material. This applies to all videos on VSPs, as well as advertising. The Act also contains a number of specific requirements in relation to advertising such as general requirements relating to issues such as discrimination, transparency requirements and requirements relating to prohibited and age-restricted products.
VSPs are a type of online video service which permit users to upload and share videos with members of the public. Ofcom is responsible for regulating VSPs, including advertising on such services, but may designate another body to be a co-regulator, subject to certain criteria.
Ofcom is now consulting on guidance for VSPs on meeting their duties to regulate advertising. The proposals set out in the consultation have been drafted taking into account the interim nature of the statutory provisions due to the draft Online Safety Bill which will regulate much of this area, and the ASA’s ongoing self-regulatory role.
Ofcom is proposing a regulatory framework which reflects the distinction in the Communications Act between VSP and non-VSP controlled advertising:
The consultation seeks stakeholders’ views on:
The consultation ends on 28 July 2021.