DAA Releases Implementation Guidelines for New ‘Political Ad’ Transparency Icon

Maryland Becomes First State to Approve Ad Disclosures via DAA-Type Icon

NEW YORK, NY – September 18, 2018 – The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) today released the creative implementation guidelines for the “Political Ad” icon it announced in May as part of an advertising industry initiative to increase transparency and accountability around digital political ads. The new guidelines outline the creative specifications necessary for U.S. federal and state political advertisers to create and display the Political Ad icon in express advocacy ads.

The DAA also welcomed Maryland for becoming the first state to authorize this type of approach for political advertising disclosure in digital and mobile ads. The Maryland State Board of Elections voted during an August 23 meeting to allow covered political entities to use a Political Ad-type icon in small ads that links to disclosures mandated by Maryland, including the authority line and other required information. Other regulatory bodies also have expressed interest in the “Political Ad” program since its announcement earlier this year.

“We are delighted at the rapid pace of both technological and regulatory implementation for the Political Ad icon and accompanying disclosures,” said DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria. “In less than 90 days, the industry has completed and released a comprehensive implementation spec for this self-regulatory icon, and states and regulatory bodies have already begun moving toward this type of disclosure approach. We look forward to working with political advertisers to help them quickly understand and implement this important disclosure notice, so it can help educate and inform voters about the source and funding for the express advocacy ads they see online and on their digital devices.”

The creative implementations guidelines are available via an updated website at AboutPoliticalAds.org that now includes an interactive map offering voters access to U.S. state and territory’s election campaign database or election authority website to research the registered political advertisers associated with a political ad.

Under the DAA’s guidance for political advertising, the Political Ad icon and/or wording should be used to provide clear, meaningful, and prominent notice for ads that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office and in certain state-wide elections. The icon/wording should link to disclosures that include:

•    Name of the political advertiser;
•    Phone number, address, website, or alternative and reliable contact information for the advertiser;
•    Other information required by applicable federal or state law for such notices;
•    Link to a government database of contributions and expenditures for the advertiser, if applicable;
•    Any disclaimers required by state or federal law, if the ad itself is too small to display them (as permitted by applicable law); and
•    Name(s) of the advertiser’s CEO, executive committee, board of directors or treasurer.

The DAA’s political advertising transparency initiative is modeled on the DAA’s YourAdChoices program, which offers consumers a gateway to information and control over Interest Based Advertising (IBA) through the ubiquitous blue AdChoices icon, served more than a trillion times a month globally.

Compliance with the DAA’s political advertising guidance will be independently enforced by the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and DMA, a division of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which also are responsible for enforcement of the YourAdChoices program.

More information about the DAA’s political advertising transparency initiative can be found at www.AboutPoliticalAds.org. Timing and enforcement for compliance will be shared on that site and through industry education efforts later this year.

About the Digital Advertising Alliance

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) is an independent not-for-profit organization which establishes and enforces responsible privacy practices for relevant digital advertising, while giving consumers information and control over the types of digital advertising they receive. The DAA runs the YourAdChoices and mobile AppChoices programs. The DAA also runs the PoliticalAds program, which is designed to increase transparency and accountability around digital express advocacy ads.

Underlying the DAA’s efforts are the DAA Self-Regulatory Principles, including updates to address changing technologies and business models around multi-site, mobile, and cross-device data. Compliance with the DAA Principles is independently enforced for all companies in digital advertising by the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and DMA, a division of the Association of National Advertisers. The DAA is managed by a consortium of the leading national advertising and marketing trade groups, including the 4A’s; American Advertising Federation; Association of National Advertisers; DMA; Interactive Advertising Bureau; and Network Advertising Initiative; with the advice of the CBBB.


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