AI aids UK's ASA tackle dubious ads

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
April 29, 2021, 10:00 AM UTC

Complaints about online ads now outnumber those of TV in the UK, as per The Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA).

The ASA's annual report revealed that 36,342 complaints about 22,823 UK ads were addressed in 2020. In addition, ASA supervised the removal or amendment of 36,491 dubious or misleading ads. Compared to 2019, the figure increased by 346% in 2020.

Though complaints about TV ads grew 43%, online ad complaints accounted for 61% of all cases and nearly 50% across media. Complaints regarding influencer posts, decreased 8%. After a proactive strategy of banning ads offering "super immune system booster" IV drips, the health and beauty market had the most ad amendments and withdrawals.

To detect and delete inappropriate online ads, ASA used AI tools and data science. The body eradicated irresponsible COVID-19, age-restricted children's and undeclared Instagram ads with automated surveillance sweeping.

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