The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), an organization that establishes and enforces guidelines across social media companies, consumer brands, advertising organizations and publishing outlets, announced a series of new rules aimed at making digital political ads more transparent.
The guidance requires advertisers to provide consumers with a link to a searchable database with more information about who placed the ad, their spending and contributions, and how the advertiser can be reached, among other things. The disclosures apply to ads “that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office and in certain state-wide elections,” according to the Digital Advertising Alliance.
More broadly, non-political marketers and advertising platforms have a vested interest in cleaning up the digital ad ecosystem and making it more transparent, particularly as brand-safety concerns continue to crop up. Advertisers have threatened to curtail spending over concerns their messages are appearing alongside misleading political messages and violent or racist content.
The centerpiece of the new initiative is an icon, called “PoliticalAd,” that will be displayed on political advertisements and direct consumers to additional information about the advertiser. Violations of the new guidelines will be watchdogged by a group within the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Data and Marketing Association, which can flag offenders and refer problems to the Federal Election Commission.