We want TikTok to be a place for our community to discover new ideas, experiences and entertainment. Being able to find things that interest you is a huge part of that experience, whether its great content by your favorite creator or adverts you actually want to see. That matters for the brands that advertise on TikTok as well, from the big established brands to the small independent business running adverts for the very first time.
We have always been committed to ensuring that advertisers who do use our platform are held to the highest possible standards. We want adverts to be safe and have made sure our advertising policies are set a high bar for what is and isn't allowed to be advertised on TikTok. For example we don't accept ads for multi-level marketing or pyramid schemes (where people are encouraged to get their friends and family to also sign up to sell products) or things like cosmetic surgery. For financial products, where users money may be at risk, we were the first online platform to only allow adverts from companies that are officially registered with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.
However, we know that there is always more that can be done to make sure that advertising on TikTok is clear, transparent and accountable.
Intermediary Platform Principles Pilot
That is why TikTok is proud to say that, starting this month we will be taking part in a new pilot programme run by the UK's advertising regulator- Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) - which aims to make advertising online in the UK more accountable. The 'Intermediary Platform Principles' programme will create new standards for advertising across online platforms to ensure every brand looking to advertise on platforms like TikTok follow the rules.
The programme covers direct 'first-party' advertising, like the ads you might see when you first open the For You Page, rather than partnerships between creators and advertisers and will help to highlight the tools TikTok already has in place to help advertisers comply with the rules.
What does this mean for users?
The pilot programme is focused on ensuring advertising on platforms like TikTok is accountable to regulators, and so for our users it should not impact the way you use the platform each day.
You can continue to quickly and easily report any piece of content, including advertising, that you feel breaches one of TikTok's policies by simply holding down on their screen and selecting 'Report'.
Everyone in the UK can also contact the ASA directly through their complaints function about advertising you see anywhere online.
What does this mean for advertisers?
TikTok's involvement in the pilot means we have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to help ensure that the ASA have the ability to quickly raise concerns about adverts that appear on TikTok. However, a key part of the pilot is ensuring that all advertisers are aware of the rules and regulations governing online advertising.
That means we will expect advertisers to take three simple steps to make sure their adverts are right for TikTok:
- Make sure they have read the Non-Broadcast Advertising Code ('The CAP Code') that explains what are the Government's rules around advertising online. You can find the CAP Code here.
- Make sure they are aware of TikTok's rules on advertising on our platform. These work with the CAP code to explain precisely how advertising on TikTok works. You can find our full guide to advertising on TikTok here.
- Make sure they target adverts to the right age groups (for example not advertising certain products to users under 18) using TikTok's Age Targetting Tools. You can find out more about Age Targetting here.
What happens next?
The pilot programme will run for one year, with the ASA monitoring how it is implemented by the platforms taking part. TikTok will work with the ASA during that time to understand how the pilot is working and what lessons can be learnt for the future.