Video advertising regulation will begin April 1, 2018, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program announced this week with a Compliance Warning.
Although the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) released guidelines for video ad marketers in 2015, the Accountability Program delayed enforcement of the self-regulatory program’s requirements until next year because in its view, “the digital video market has enjoyed a steep and dramatic growth rate and is now mature.”
“Online video ads were a 1.03 billion dollar market in 2009 and since then, the industry has grown enormously in value, representing an estimated 13.2 billion dollar market in 2017,” according to the Compliance Warning. “We therefore believe that it is commercially reasonable to expect the digital advertising ecosystem to be able to implement the DAA Principles in video IBA [interest-based advertising].”
Interest-based video ads must be accompanied by an enhanced (or “just-in-time”) notice, either in or around the ad itself, pursuant to the DAA Principles. While the Accountability Program does not mandate a specific means for supplying the enhanced notice, it must alert consumers to the fact that a video ad is interest-based and provide easy access to the company’s disclosures of its IBA practices, as well as its IBA opt-out. The majority of companies use the blue triangular AdChoices icon.
“So long as a company’s solution is clear, meaningful, and prominent, and so long as it leads consumers to the requisite information on IBA and to an easy-to-use choice mechanism, the enhanced notice link will be compliant,” the Compliance Warning explained. The Accountability Program offered to review any proposal for compliance and promised not to institute a compliance action against a company that proactively consults in good faith.
For the companies that have yet to prepare for compliance, the Accountability Program suggested they review guidance documents such as the DAA Principles, prior cases, and Compliance Warnings. In addition, companies should determine what solution best fits their actual operations, perhaps in consultation with the Accountability Program.
“As industry migrates from static advertising to a greater and greater reliance on video advertising in both the desktop and mobile realm, we underscore that companies are expected to undertake the effort necessary to provide consumers with transparency and consumer control as articulated by the DAA Principles,” the Compliance Warning cautioned.
To read the Compliance Warning, click here.
Why it matters: The Accountability Program noted that it already enforces the DAA Principles in other contexts and expects similar compliance for video advertisements. “Today’s announcement asks companies simply to take a now familiar set of self-regulatory principles and apply them to an innovative advertising ecosystem so that consumers will enjoy the benefits of transparency and control with each ad roll,” according to the Compliance Warning. If they haven’t already, companies should ensure compliance in time for the April 1 enforcement date.