Scott McDonald, ARF CEO & President, issued a call for the development of ethical standards regarding the collection and use of consumer data. He announced that the ARF will consider an initiative to write standards that marketers and their partners can use to encourage ethical behavior, as they employ consumer data.
In his remarks, made on March 27 at the ARF’s annual CONSUMERxSCIENCE conference, Scott noted:
- The marketing community uses militaristic terms when they describe their efforts, such as “target,” campaign,” and “takeover.” Instead, he encouraged treating consumers like “partners, not prey.”
- Specifically, Scott identified that just because technology enables us to do something; it does not mean we should do it.
- Scott committed that the ARF would take a lead initiative in developing standards. We will begin with a review of what other associations and its members have written regarding the ethical use of data. The organization plans to launch its efforts on April 26 in a town hall with members.
- The ARF will consider rescinding a 2017 Gold David Ogilvy Award given to Cambridge Analytica in light of recent allegations concerning their improper use of Facebook data. Scott stated that the award was given, based on technical excellence, without awareness that how the data were collected and used was subject to question. Step one is to review with the 2017 judging committee.
CONSUMERxSCIENCE Opening Remarks by Scott McDonald
The ARF’s remarks were picked up by several news outlets, including the NY Times. See some of the coverage below.
Soul-Searching from Ad Group that Lauded Cambridge Analytica
New York Times, 3/28
Wild West of Digital Marketing Finally Gets Reined in
ARF to Unveil Consumer Data Privacy Initiative
Ad Research Association Wants New Privacy Rules After Cambridge Analytica
Ad Age, 3/26
ARF Proposes New Standards for Consumer Data, Threatens to Rescind Cambridge Analytica’s Ogilvy Award