Waspa Tightens Cellphone Rules in South Africa

Digital Content

An association governing the provision of content and advertisements to cellphones has beefed up its code of conduct to enforce ethical behaviour and to protect consumers better.

The Wireless Application Providers' Service Association (Waspa) had tightened up its advertising rules because ethical behaviour was in the interests of consumers and the industry, Waspa chairman Leon Perlman said this week.

"Our rules seek to protect consumers from misleading and objectionable advertising content from (service providers) so that they can have confidence in marketing messages from our members."

Its code of conduct governs all of SA's major providers of mobile applications and content, such as subscription services, competitions, ring tones, news alerts and bulk SMS messages delivered on behalf of corporate customers.

One of the most important changes creates a standard format for advertising their services on TV to ensure all mandatory information is present and easy to read.

This should help viewers easily see information, including the total price and type of service before they subscribe to it. The rules also aim to ensure adverts do not contain objectionable material, especially if it may be seen by children.

Business Day