Technology

Ad Alliance Details Disclosure Standards for Political Ads

By / Sep 19, 2018 (bortonia/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images Plus)

The Digital Advertising Alliance’s new Political Ads program, which aims to make it easy for viewers to track the sources of political ads, is promoting a standard look as common as the one in its existing YourAdChoices program.

A few months after announcing a plan to standardize political ad disclosures online, the Digital Advertising Alliance is laying out the details—just as the midterm election season enters its final stretch.

This week, DAA released creative implementation guidelines [PDF] for the PoliticalAds program, which applies to advertisements that expressly support or oppose a candidate for office. Such ads would be labeled with a standardized icon and language that link to detailed information about who paid for the ad. The layouts and design elements are similar to those in DAA’s existing YourAdChoices program, which discloses privacy practices for advertisers. (The icons look similar, though PoliticalAds uses purple, while YourAdChoices uses teal.)

Examples of political ads using DAA’s new voluntary standard.

Under the PoliticalAds guidelines, which are voluntary, the icon will link the user to a disclosures page that that includes the advertiser’s name and contact information, a link to a database with information about the advertiser’s contributions and expenditures, disclaimers required under state or federal law, and names of the organization’s leadership.

The guidelines emphasize the value of consistency in encouraging best practices. “Consistent and proper usage of the Political Ad icon and ad marker will reinforce the application of consumer-friendly standards for transparency across the internet,” the document states.

In a news release, DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria said the alliance is working quickly to implement the standard and already has seen it authorized for use in Maryland.

“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,” Mastria said.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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