Candidates and groups could see a new disclaimer on their digital display ads before November thanks to a new effort by the Digital Advertising Alliance.
The group behind the YourAdChoices program, which includes a display icon that is served a trillion times a month to consumers in the digital ecosystem, on Tuesday launched an initiative that includes a PoliticalAd icon for advocacy advertisers in top-level campaigns.
“What this reflects is how industry can come together and provide standards and transparency for digital advertising,” Michael Signorelli, counsel for the DAA, told C&E.
Click on the YourAdChoices icon and a consumer sees why he or she is being served an ad. Click on the PoliticalAd icon and the voter can learn the name of the advertiser, contact information, and see links to government databases, disclaimers and information about the campaign or group’s leadership.
Compliance with the DAA guidance will be enforced by the Advertising Self Regulatory Council (ASRC) and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), according to a release.
Signorelli said that under the YourAdChoices program nearly all the 85 companies that have been contacted by the accountability department have come into compliance.
Entities, individuals, and groups that are engaged in online advocacy at the federal and statewide level would be covered by the transparency guidance in the new initiative. An industry working group is getting set to meet in the coming weeks to discuss implementation, which Signorelli predicted would happen before November.
“Implementation does happen rapidly across the marketplace,” he said.
That said, practitioners will wonder if the political side of the digital ad industry will be as easily brought into line by a self-regulatory body – albeit one that counts Facebook and Google as members.
At the same time, practitioners can weigh what the DAA is proposing against the stalled legislation on Capitol Hill. Momentum on the Honest Ads Act has died, and while the FEC is mulling additional ad oversight, practitioners have told C&E they doubt it will move ahead with regulation during the midterms.
Signorelli said timing for the initiative stemmed partly from the regulatory conversations taking place in DC. “We’re mindful of the different atmospherics going on on the Hill.”
Lou Mastria, executive director of the DAA, added: “Over the last several months, the DAA has facilitated an industry dialogue on the best ways to increase transparency around digital political advertising, and we were able to reach consensus on this common-sense approach built on accepted standards and proven tools. The PoliticalAd icon will give voters instant, easy access to information about the digital political ads they see, directly from the ads themselves.”