As of today the Advertising Standards Authority’s remit has been extended to cover companies’ marketing claims on their websites and other non-paid for space they control, such as Facebook and Twitter.

The watchdog said the move would bring enhanced consumer protection, particularly for children.

The ASA already regulates adverts in paid-for online space, such banner ads, pop-ups and paid search results. Since 2008, the ASA has received more than 4,500 complaints over adverts that full outside its remit.

It said the extension - which comes in response to a recommendation from the UK ad industry - was good news for businesses as well as for consumers, as marketing communications would be more trusted under its gaze.

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