AUSTRALIA’S website design industry is facing a crisis after a spate of fake website design contest winners emerged this week, prompting the Government to suspend its official website design certification programme.
The Federal Government announced a moratorium on all certification and registration activities on Monday and Tuesday, a move that came after the Competition Bureau found more than 150 fake designers had submitted designs for the design competition.
The Competition Bureau also found more fake designs in the second half of the year, but the number has since been reduced.
It said that some of the fake designs were “vastly over-powered” and “tend to have very similar style, content, colour and font”.
The Bureau said it would investigate the allegations.
It has also suspended all certification of websites for six months, and has taken steps to restrict access to certain types of websites, including requiring all new registrations to have a valid Australian email address.
“These measures will provide the Federal Government with the best possible online advertising solution for all Australians,” Acting Commissioner Peter Braidwood said in a statement.
“The Federal government is working with industry and the relevant authorities to ensure all Australians can enjoy the benefits of the Federal website and online advertising platforms.”
This includes ensuring all eligible Australian websites and online services remain available to all Australians, regardless of their online platform of choice.
“The Federal Cabinet confirmed the suspension on Tuesday, saying the Federal Department of Communications and the Competition Department had made a commitment to work closely with the Australian Design Competitions Council to help ensure the Government had the best online advertising solutions for all people.”
While the Federal government has not yet taken any action on the issue, the Federal Communications and Communications Consumer Commission is undertaking a review of the online advertising and website certification systems,” the Cabinet said in the statement.
The announcement came days after the Government’s website advertising policy committee recommended tightening the rules on online advertising, and to limit the number of online advertising sites that could be certified by the Federal Cabinet.”
There are serious concerns about the quality of submissions that are being submitted to the Federal Coalition’s website and website advertising submission service,” committee member and Industry Minister Steve Ciobo said in an email.”
It’s a critical requirement for any business that uses online advertising to comply with the Federal Register of Information.
“Ciobo said the Federal Commerce Department would examine the committee’s recommendations.”
If it does not find the required changes to the regulations to be appropriate, we will consider implementing these measures, but at this stage we do not have a timeframe for the changes to take effect,” he said.”
I’d urge any business or organisation that’s interested in working with us on any of the committee recommendations to do so.
“The Government said it was also looking into the number and nature of the sites that were registered.
It is also considering making the Federal Council of Trade Unions, the organisation representing businesses that advertise on its websites, register a website.
It also plans to examine the number, type and geographic location of the websites that it certifies.”
We have been making a concerted effort to reduce the number sites that are in compliance with our advertising rules and to work with our industry partners to ensure that we have the most efficient and efficient online advertising system for all of our businesses,” Ciobo told the ABC.”
That’s why we’re making the changes that we’ve made.””
The Government will work closely together with the businesses that are involved with the online marketing and advertising industry to address any issues that we see as they relate to compliance and the integrity of the Government website advertising and advertising submission process.
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the number one reason for fake websites was the cost of the registration process, which often included a $30 fee.”
Many of these sites are being registered by unscrupulous people or businesses, who are trying to make a quick buck,” the commission said in its statement.
It urged anyone who has been affected to call the Australian Competition Bureau toll free on 1800 888 888.
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