The UK's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is extending its remit to cover online advertising.

The ASA will soon be keeping a closer eye on web advertising and marketing campaigns on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

New powers to block online ads

From 1 March 2011, the organisation will be able to apply the same strict rules that it currently applies to traditional print media.

The ASA received no less than 3,500 complaints last year, but over half of those were outside of its remit.

"This is a massive step. Consumers don't differentiate between adverts on TV or online and this ensures that claims online will be subject to the same strict scrutiny of those in traditional media," an ASA spokesman told the BBC.

The ASA will also be given powers to remove paid-for search advertising and, in some circumstances, replace it with its own advertisements outlining an advertiser's non-compliance.

Via BBC News