Insights UK Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) publishes final report on Intermediary and Platform Principles (“IPPs”) Pilot


From 1 June 2022 to 1 June 2023, the ASA conducted a pilot to explore how platforms and intermediaries in the advertising supply chain could support the ASA’s self-regulation system as it applies to online advertising. The ASA holds advertisers primarily accountable for the content, media placement and audience targeting of their ads. However, to complement this, the ASA partners with others, including third party intermediaries who connect buyers and sellers of advertising inventory or who offer connected services, even where they may have no direct relationship with the advertiser. The participating companies were Adform, Amazon Ads, Google, Index Exchange, Magnite, Meta, Snap Inc., TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and Yahoo For Business.

The pilot centred around assessing, in a live environment, the implementation of six voluntary principles requiring the participants to bring the CAP Code to the attention of advertisers or their agencies, ensuring their policies and contract terms require CAP Code compliance, assisting in promoting awareness of the ASA system, making advertisers aware of the tools and controls that can be used on their services to prevent age-restricted ads from being directed at children, and removing non-compliant ads swiftly if the advertiser fails to do so and providing information to the ASA to assist with its investigations. The pilot was limited to paid programmatic ads from legitimate advertisers and did not cover fraudulent or influencer ads.

Following the ASA’s assessment and analysis, the report concludes that during the period of the pilot, the participants implemented the IPPs where applicable to their services and, by doing so, supported the ASA is raising awareness of advertising rules and in the removal of persistently non-compliant ads. During the 12 months, the CAP Compliance function worked with the participants to remove just under 500 non-compliant programmatic ads.

The findings will now be reviewed to identify any further gaps in the ASA’s ability to secure compliance and how these can be addressed by working with the participating companies. The review will take place in the context of the government’s ongoing consideration of whether regulators have the right tools to address harms that can arise from online advertising. The Government’s response to the Online Advertising Programme consultation in July made references to the IPP pilot.

For more information, click here.