Sydney, Aug.6 (ANI): An Australian ad regulator's ruling that Facebook is an advertising medium, and just a social network, will force firms to be more vigilant about comments posted by the public to ensure they are not sexist, racist or factually inaccurate.
Australia's Advertising Standards Board ruled that Facebook pages are advertising and must comply with self-regulatory codes, and therefore, consumer protection laws.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, in the wake of the new ruling, companies could be fined or publicly shamed for the comments that appear on their Facebook 'brand' pages.
Large advertisers such as Qantas, Telstra and Coles are increasingly reliant on their Facebook pages to get consumers to like them and get free referrals to their network of friends.The paper quoted John Swinson, a partner at law firm King and Wood Mallesons, as saying that the board's ruling 'turned people's opinions into statements of facts'.
Swinson cited an example that if a member of the public posted a comment on Smirnoff's site that claimed it was the purest Russian vodka and would lead to success with the opposite sex and Smirnoff failed to remove it, the company could be liable on a number of counts.
Smirnoff is Australian not Russian. So that is false. It may not be the purest so that could also be misleading, the paper quoted him, as saying.
And, to imply that you would have greater success with girls, would contravene the advertising codes, he added. (ANI)