Comms Council creating code of conduct after Facebook fallout

By By Amy Kellow | 10 August 2012

The Communications Council has gotten behind the Advertising Standards Bureau's (ASB) recent Facebook rulings which deem brands responsible for user-generated content, saying it will release a code of conduct to help agencies and brands self-regulate.

The code of conduct will ensure brands uphold standards of "respect, integrity, transparency and honesty" on their respective social media pages, according to the Communications Council Digital Committee chairman Iain McDonald. McDonald argued the ASB's decision reflects a shift in community standards.

The ASB's determination, which came earlier this week, deemed brands responsible for all content on their social media pages including user-generated material. The decision came off the back of a complaints against alcohol brands from Diageo and Carlton United Brewers.

The rulings found Facebook to be a "marketing communication tool over which the advertiser has a reasonable degree of control", and riled some within the digital industry, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau which believed it to be an unneccessary burden on businesses.

The Communications Council said in a statement: "This is not the end of social media as a communication platform nor should moderation be an unreasonable burden. Business should continue as usual in the spirit of the Codes with mindfulness of the responsibility and reasonable control and diligence in moderating social media sites."

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