New regulations to cover social media advertising

A draft of new regulations planned to cover social media advertising on platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has been released by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS).

Public input is now being sought until January 8 when the draft will be further reviewed.

ASA says the drafted Digital and Social Media Advertising Guidelines are necessary because all advertisements that appear in Singapore are required to comply with the Singapore

Code of Advertising Practice (SCAP), regardless of the media that they appear in.

“The Code has served the advertising industry well. However, with the emergence of new technologies, new issues in advertising have emerged and these issues are not covered by the Code.”

Essentially, the guidelines establish the levels of disclosure that are required of sponsored messages that appear on blogs and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“Marketers will be required to make sponsored messages distinguishable from personal opinions and editorial content in their posts, and disclose any commercial relationships.

“In addition, the guidelines will require marketers to develop community guidelines, be transparent about fees and the purchase process, and ensure that digital marketing communications addressed to children are suitable for them. The Guidelines, once finalised, will be incorporated into SCAP.”

The draft regulations can be viewed here (via a downloadable marked up Word document).

The proposed draft was created after “extensive study” and input from various industry players, ASAS said. They draw reference from similar advertising codes of conduct that are already established in countries such as Australia and the UK, as well as some of those set by social media channels.

Submissions should be clearly and concisely written, should provide a reasonable explanation for any proposed revisions and reach ASAS no later than 5pm on January 8, 2016. They may be sent via post or email to the following addresses:

Mail: The Secretariat, Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore, 170 Ghim Moh Rd, Ulu Pandan Community Building #05-01, Singapore 279621. Or by email:

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