28 March, 2017

Refresher on advertising standards and best practice

A recent blog post on Econsultancy highlighted a case where Google suspended an AdWords account for violating its misleading or unrealistic promotions site policy. The account was suspended because Google claimed that the testimonials being featured on the site’s landing pages were making misleading claims.

As a result, we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you about standard advertising guidelines to help you avoid breaching advertising rules. Here’s a reminder of what is and isn’t acceptable to share on your landing pages and in your advertising...

Misleading information

While we believe we deliver our members with a great service, we can’t guarantee success for our members. As a result, you should make sure that you don’t promise or guarantee success.

Follow these guidelines to avoid making misleading claims:

  • Avoid making definitive statements and using words such as ‘guaranteed’
  • Avoid exaggerated claims in your ad text and website, including claims that are unlikely to deliver on their promise
  • Ensure that your ads and promotions are not tricking the user into interacting with them
  • Your ads should be clearly branded and the name of your site or logo should be clearly visible on the ad
  • If you make a claim in your advertising, this claim must be accompanied by a disclaimer

Testimonials

Featuring member testimonials on your landing pages can be an effective way of encouraging new members to sign up, however, you should avoid using testimonials that claim exact results as everyone will have a different experience on your site.

It’s also crucial to make sure that all testimonials you feature on your site are genuine. The Government has announced they will be cracking down on fake online reviews, meaning posting fake testimonials will not only breach advertising guidelines but it could also be illegal.

Using images in your advertising

It’s highly likely that you’ll use some form of images on your website and in your advertising, so it’s important to make sure you have the right permissions to share those images.

Unless you have taken or created an image yourself, you must seek permission to use an image on your website and in your advertising. You should always buy the rights to any image you use by purchasing them from a stock library like iStock . If the image is of a member, you should ask the member’s permission to use their image and keep a record of the confirmation.

If you’d like to include a static images of members on your landing page, make sure that you have permission to show these images. However, it’s important to make sure that you update these images regularly as these members may leave or become inactive and therefore showcasing them on your landing page could be misleading.

If you’re unsure about any content on your website or in your ads, refer to the UK’s advertising guidelines. It’s also important that you’re aware of the most recent Google’s AdWords policies. These will always be in line with advertising guidelines but if you’re not sure, check them here.

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