Ofcom introduces new regulations to make video-sharing platforms safer

Tuesday 07 December 2021 10:51

Ofcom this morning set out a new framework for the regulation of advertising on video-sharing platforms (VSPs).

Last year, Ofcom was given new powers, under laws introduced by Parliament, to regulate UK-based VSPs. These include the obligation to ensure that advertising standards are met.

After consultation, the watchdog decided that the regulatory framework should reflect the distinction in communications law between VSP-controlled and non-VSP-controlled advertising.

An “in-scope” VSP is one that allows users to upload and share videos with the public and is established in the UK, including TikTok, OnlyFans, Snapchat and Vimeo.

Ofcom states that VSPs are legally responsible for ensuring that any advertising they market, sell or arrange themselves meets certain requirements to protect users from potential harm.

It appoints the Advertising Standards Authority as the co-regulator responsible for the day-to-day regulation of VSP-controlled advertising, with Ofcom as the supporting statutory regulator.

For advertisements not marketed, sold or curated by VSPs, VSPs are legally required to take appropriate steps to ensure that such advertisements meet user protection requirements.

As part of this, Ofcom will assess whether the measures taken by VSPs to protect users are appropriate.

Shirley K. Rosa