NEWS1 November 2018

Research to play a bigger role in how ASA regulates online ads

AI Data analytics Media News Technology UK

UK – Research, data insights and machine learning will play a greater role in how the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) polices online advertising, the regulator has said.


In its five-year strategy, published today, the ASA outlined its plans to explore the use of artificial intelligence, research and ‘data-driven intelligence gathering’ to regulate online advertising.

In addition to dealing with the complaints it already receives from the public, the regulator will conduct more research and use other data-gathering methods such as machine learning to identify the most important advertising-related issues for audiences.  

Machine learning will also be looked at to improve the body’s regulation of online ads.

Of the 7,099 adverts amended or withdrawn last year following ASA action, 88% were online, either in whole or in part.

The ASA has shifted towards a more proactive approach to regulation in the last few years, as it looks to intervene before people make complaints.

Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA, said: “Online is already well over half of our regulation, but we’ve more work to do to take further steps towards our ambition of making every UK ad a responsible ad.” 

Lord Currie, chairman of the ASA, added: “The new strategy will ensure that protecting consumers remains at the heart of what we do but that our system is also fit for purpose when regulating newer forms of advertising. This also means harnessing new technology to improve our ways of working in identifying problem ads.”