Image by Extra Ketchup via FlickrHere's a surprise; rather than resisting attempts regulate how it runs ads on the web – Google is backing the expanded ASA with money.
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has, until now, limited to looking after offline advertising. It has two sets of rules; CAP for non-broadcast and CAP for broadcast. Simply put; if a brand runs a TV ad which is misleading, wrong or rude then it's the ASA that steps in to sort things out.
People can complain to the ASA if they see an ad they don't like.
Now, Google's always rejected the need to work with a body like this. Google regulates Google.
It's been announced today that the ASA has had its remit extended and extra funds to support web governance. IN other words it'll begin to regulate the ads that appear on websites. If ASA doesn't like an ad shown through AdSense or DoubleClick Exchange then it'll step in, have teeth and sort Google out.
I'm amazed Google is supporting this imitative rather than distancing itself. That's what it has been trying to do for years. News today, though, shows that Google will actually help fund the expanded ASA and tow the line for two years.
This just doesn't impact on search. I suspect search is in the headlines simply because Google is being mentioned.
This impacts affiliate marketing – affiliate networks may now find themselves being poked by ASA if the regulators don't like the banners shown on the network.
What this means for affiliates who customise their own banners and use them alongside the tracking technology providedby the affiliate networks isn't clear.
Display, of course, will be effected hugely. Networks and exchanges will have to keep a closer eye on the banners they're being used to display.