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The Government's consultation will ascertain whether their understanding of the online advertising landscape is correct or if reform is needed.

The UK Government has announced a consultation on its new Online Advertising Programme.

The objective of the OAP is to ensure that the regulatory framework for online advertising keeps up with the rapid development of digital technologies and protects both consumers and businesses.

The OAP looks to review the existing regulatory framework for paid-for online advertising, in particular to tackle lack of transparency and accountability across the supply chain. The Government has expressed a desire to move to a model which places responsibility on each player in the online advertising ecosystem, rather than just focusing on advertisers. It intends to target both harmful content in adverts and harmful placement or targeting of adverts (currently online advertising is not subject to the same level of regulation as other media such as TV or radio), including “influencer advertising”.

The consultation is intended to attain views on whether the Government’s understanding of the online advertising ecosystem is correct and the priority areas and potential options for reform. The OAP will also run alongside the Online Safety Bill, with the Online Safety Bill imposing obligations on in-scope organisations to deal with fraudulent paid-for advertising and the OAP covering the role of other organisations in the supply chain, as well as harms not necessarily dealt with by the Bill.

The consultation closes on 1 June 2022. For further information and ways to respond visit — https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/online-advertising-programme-consultation

For expert advice in relation to all aspects of information governance, cyber liability and electronic communications contact our team of leading data protection solicitors. For information surrounding trading standards, contact our specialist team of trading standards solicitors