Applying the recommended route outlined above, examples of how the cross border
procedure for Internet advertising would work in practice are:
1. Advertiser located in UK only, using UK ISP with computer files stored on computers
in the UK. Complaint made by Italian consumer to IAP.
Complaint referred to and dealt with by ASA, outcome notified to IAP.
2. Advertisement identified as UK base for mail order transactions but head office is
in Germany, service provider and home page address is in Bonn.
Complaint made by Belgian consumer to JEP.
Complaints referred to ZBUW for investigation. If company proves unco-operative, ZBUW
alerts ASA to use sanctions available on the mail order fulfilment house. If the ISP was
based in the UK the ASA could ask the Internet Service Providers Association for
assistance in enforcing the ruling.
3. A pyramid selling scheme (Vanilla Services BV) operating out of the Netherlands but
from a company based in Gibraltar. The advertisement is in Spanish. Service provider
country is currently unknown.
Complaint from a Spanish consumer to the SRC (The Netherlands).
Gibraltar is outside the ASA's jurisdiction so UK codes could not be applied, the SRC
may not be able to apply their codes to advertisements in another language so the
complaint would be referred to the AAP in Spain for investigation. If the company were
unco-operative the AAP would first seek enforcement measures through the SRC. The service
provider could also be traced, or a Euro Ad Alert issued, to see what further sanctions
could be applied.
4. A national press and poster campaign promoting a telecommunications company in the
Netherlands is supported by advertising material on the company's web site. The
advertising company is British and the web site's country of origin is the UK. A Dutch
competitor objects to misleading price comparisons in the campaign.
Using existing procedures the press and poster campaign would be investigated on a
local basis through the SRC without using the cross border system. But if the same claims
are being challenged in the Internet advertisement it would be more appropriate to extend
the print media investigation to look also at the Internet rather than refer the same
complaint to the ASA under the country of origin principle. The ASA could be informed
about the complaint and the outcome by the SRC and invited to co-operate in the event of