IPA: We "clearly support" new social media powers for Ofcom

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by Charlie Spargo

The Institue for Practitioners in Advertiing (IPA) has come out in support of the government's decision to make Ofcom the official regulator for social media platforms, giving the regulator new powers.

The body is joined by other industry organisations, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) in backing new regulatory powers over social media providers - including forcing them to remove or regulate harmful and unacceptable posts.

IPA Director General, Paul Bainsfair, said: “We clearly support the protection of individuals from online harms. Simultaneously we support protecting advertisers from appearing adjacent to, and inadvertently financially supporting, harmful content.

“We therefore support any regulation that helps to alleviate such instances for all. Furthermore, we support equivalent regulation for the online arena as exists for offline media. Extending Ofcom’s remit should deliver this.”

Phil Smith, ISBA Director General, said: “From tackling terrorist content to protecting young people from abuse and material that threatens their mental health, we have worked with our members and with technology companies to improve their response and build trust.

“It is absolutely right that government is taking further action, and there is much to welcome in this initial consultation response.

“We are pleased that ministers recognise the importance of freedom of expression and the need to maintain a vibrant public square.”

CIM CEO, Chris Daly, said: “The announcement is good news for the marketing industry; it’s important that this critical role is handed to an established and credible body such as Ofcom.

“Ofcom’s new powers will give businesses greater confidence that they can invest in social media marketing without inadvertently supporting platforms where users are at risk.”