- Watchdogs in Europe and the US are to step up co-operation in an effort to police Internet advertising more effectively.
The aim is boost the flow of information between the two continents in order to identify and pursue rogue web advertisers, irrespective of which side of the Atlantic they are based.
Although the move is expected to have most impact in the US, where most major Internet advertisers are headquartered, regulatory authorities in the US and Europe have agreed to act for each other in the investigation of complaints.
The increased co-operation follows talks in the US between Caroline Crawford, representing the European Advertising Standards Alliance, and executives of the Federal Trade Commission.
Crawford also met representatives of the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, which manages the self-regulatory system in the US.
The need for better liason with the US has been obvious since last month's EASA meeting in Vienna which drew up rules to prevent members duplicating their efforts by having online transgressors pursued by more than one member country.
Crawford, communications director of the Advertising Standards Authority, said: "The links with the US will begin informally because their self-regulatory system is less well resourced than ours. But if we get complaints about US-based internet advertisers, we will be asking the Better Business Bureau to take action."
The US initiative is part of a concerted effort by the EASA to bring about a much greater degree of co-operation between self-regulatory bodies across the world.
The EASA includes all EU member states as well as other Scandinavian and several former Eastern Bloc countries. It is also building links with Russia and South Africa and is working with self-regulatory authorities in New Zealand to establish relationships with other countries in the Asia Pacific region.