On 29 April 2013, the IAB (the peak industry body for online
advertising in Australia) released Social Advertising Best Practice
Guidelines ("Guidelines") for paid social
These Guidelines comprise of:
paid media – where a financial investment is made to
place a marketing message. An example would include a sponsored
owned media – which is owned and controlled by a brand
such as social media business pages and mobile apps; and
earned media – which is driven by consumers sharing
conversations and engagement on social networks and blogs.
The Guidelines aim to outline common local practices, which
a social media planning process;
a measurement framework;
privacy guidelines on capturing data, data disclosure and data
Their aim is to provide information, structure, and clarity to
marketers and agencies in better utilising social media as a
marketing vehicle, in particular in relation to setting clear
campaign objectives and achieving measurable outcomes
These Guidelines have been created to assist businesses, however
it is recommended that businesses evaluate whether each statement
within the Guidelines is appropriate for their business before
automatically implementing them.
Page 20 of the Guidelines states, "that publishers are not
responsible for user generated comments on social platforms such as
Facebook until such time as they are notified of abusive comments
and have an opportunity to further investigate and take any
appropriate action", however this is inconsistent with recent
decisions handed down.
In recent cases, including those described in
previous blogs, businesses have been held liable for third
party content posted on their page. It is recommended that any
business adopting IAB's Guidelines have regard to the recent
decisions and remove any content that is misleading or deceptive.
Otherwise, by failing to remove such content, the company will be
held to have published it.
The IAB have also recently made available Guidelines for Social
Media Comment Regulation, Conduct of Ad Verification; and
Prevailing Mobile and Tablet Advertising Formats for the Australian
Market and in its attempt to make interactive advertising a simpler
and more attractive medium for agencies, advertisers and marketers
in Australia's thriving digital economy.
Despite businesses seeing these as an easier alternative to
creating their own social media guidelines and policies, without
reviewing the Guidelines closely, businesses may potentially be
exposing themselves to legal liability.
If you have any questions about the recent release of social
media guidelines, the team at Coleman Greig can assist you. Our
team of experienced lawyers run a variety of social media seminars
and workshops to educate organisations on the ever changing nature
of social media, from preventing the woes of misuse and utilising
social media platforms to your advantage.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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