Digital Advertising Alliance’s new ‘PoliticalAds’ icon will identify online political ads that meet new guidelines

The group, composed of multiple ad organizations, has released new guidance for political advertisers and a PoliticalAd icon for ads that comply.

Digital Advertising Alliance’s new ‘PoliticalAds’ icon will identify online political ads that meet new guidelines

As we move closer to the 2018 midterm elections, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) is trying to build more transparency around political ads and make political advertisers more accountable.

The not-for-profit independent organization composed of multiple advertising organizations and marketing trade groups has released a 12-page document titled “Application of the Self-Regulatory Principles of Transparency & Accountability to Political Advertising.” It outlines measures political advertisers must take to ensure transparency around political advertising.

According to the DAA’s self-regulatory principles, political advertisers are responsible for providing “enhanced notice” in or around political advertisements. To start, political ads must contain “clear, meaningful, and prominent notice” that the ad is a political advertisement. Ads must also list who is paying for the ad, contact information for the advertiser (phone number, address, website and so on), the names of the advertiser’s executives (CEO, committee members, treasurer, board of directors) and links to further information about the person or organization responsible for the advertisement.

Political ads that comply with the DAA’s principles will receive the following PoliticalAd icon, (a small purple triangle with a lower-case “i” inside it):

Digital Advertising Alliance’s new ‘PoliticalAds’ icon will identify online political ads that meet new guidelines

“The PoliticalAd icon will give voters instant, easy access to information about the digital political ads they see, directly from the ads themselves,” says said Stu Ingis, who serves as counsel to the DAA. Program compliance will be enforced by the Advertising Self Regulatory Council (ASRC) and the Data and Marketing Association (DMA).

“Throughout my 11-year tenure, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has always stood for greater transparency and disclosure in the digital advertising supply chain,” says Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “The problem of undisclosed foreign influence in our election demonstrates acutely the need for greater transparency and disclosure in political advertising.”

Rothenberg’s Interactive Advertising Bureau is one of seven organizations that make up the DAA. Other members include the 4A’s, American Advertising Federation (AAF), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI).

The project launches the same day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying in front of the EU Parliament to explain the actions his platform is taking to avoid further interference in elections around the world. Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress last month, spending nearly five hours answering questions from more than 40 members of Congress who wanted to know how the platform — and user information — was exploited by foreign powers during the 2016 elections, and actions Facebook is taking to protect user security.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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