It could change how social media campaigns are run now because it means any comments posted on a company Facebook page could be scrutinised by the ASB.
It is likely to lead to the companies having to be more stringent with their vetting processes because any comments which are seen to be racist, sexist or inaccurate could lead to bigger consequences. One outcome of businesses not monitoring the posts on their pages is that they could be fined.
Findings from the ASB stated that comments made by fans are considered to be ads for the company and would therefore fall under the jurisdiction of the advertising body's regulations.
It is an interesting development to see an industry body taking a stance on the regulation of social media networks, particularly following the spate of offensive comments posted online recently.
Many brands utilising Facebook have been using the pages as a social media marketing platform for some time without this being a problem.
The ruling could mean a company or brand may be liable if a post on their Facebook page does not meet the criteria set down by the authority's standards of truthfulness and responsibility.
It will be intriguing to see how companies and brands respond to the added pressure of ensuring 'fan' posts do not offend according to the guidelines set out by ASB.
Posted by Chloe Vaughan