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BizReport : Advertising archives : February 01, 2011

DMA enforces Advertising Option Icon program

Having spent the last few months educating businesses about their Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising, the DMA has today announced it will now begin monitoring and enforcing their members' interest-based advertising efforts. Their tough-talking announcement threatens to expose any advertiser who doesn't comply.

by Helen Leggatt

icon_enhanced_notice_lg.jpgThe Program, designed to restore consumer trust in online advertising, requires advertisers that collect Internet user information for behavioral targeting of ads to implement an "Advertising Option Icon" on websites, or near ads, where behavioral tracking has been used.

The small icon directs Internet users to information on why the ad has been presented to them and gives the opportunity to opt out of future targeted ads.

The DMA will ensure companies participate in the self-regulation program by using monitoring technology from Evidon. To show they mean business, the global marketing trade association is talking tough.

Kate Kaye over at ClickZ reports the DMA's EVP of government affairs, Linda Woolley, as saying they would "name" and "shame" companies that do not abide by the new rules.

No penalties or fines will be incurred by non-cooperative advertisers, but DMA membership could be withdrawn if violation of the Program's rules continues.

While some advertisers may be frustrated at the move, depending on targeted advertising to hone their response and conversion rates, most concede the move is needed to allay privacy fears.

"Our ability to deliver advertising messages to consumers that speak only to their interests must surely be one of the great benefits of the media revolution that we're living through," said Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

"We fully understand that this advance in targeting will be lost if the public comes to believe that we are not responsible stewards of the data on which it is built."

Tags: behavioral targeting, consumer privacy, DMA

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