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Alphabet Soup Part 1: Who’s Who in Advertising Self-Regulation

 PART 1 – ONLINE ADVERTISING

Everyone is familiar with the Federal Trade Commission which is the main federal body regulating and enforcing advertising laws.  But in addition to federal regs, the advertising industry has a robust and complex self- regulatory framework. This framework provides voluntary guidelines and best practices for all aspects of the advertising industry.

The online advertising self-regulatory groups are comprised of independent bodies of experts and professionals in the advertising and technology fields. They set the standards for quality and ethical conduct in the purchase, sale, and display of online advertising.   Among these groups are the NAI, Network Advertising Initiative, which focuses on responsible data collection and use of that data in online advertising, with an emphasis on third-party ad tech companies; the DAA, Digital Advertising Alliancewhich focuses on ethical self-regulation in the online advertising and ad tech industries, and its purpose is to expand self-regulation for interest-based advertising; TAG, the Trustworthy Accountability Group, which focuses on “fraudulent digital advertising traffic, combating malware, fighting ad-supported Internet piracy to promote brand integrity, and promoting brand safety through greater transparency”; the DMA, Direct Marketing Association, which advocates policies that promotes the use of ethical data-driven marketing with positive outcomes for both end-users and marketers; and, the IAB, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a member organization that develops technical standards, best practices, and research regarding the value of digital advertising.

Why are these groups important?  It’s not only the state and federal regulators who are addressing the need for data and privacy rules. These groups are also studying how to balance privacy and consumer protection with effective advertising and how data can be optimized to effect meaningful communication with consumers and build (in some cases, maintain) trust between the consumer and the marketer, among other industry studies and areas of focus. Be on the lookout for initiatives and findings that will enhance or perhaps disrupt, advertising business as usual…


Addie Johnson