NEW YORK: The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) is attempting to throw some light on the murky world of online political advertising with the launch of a new initiative that includes guidance for political advertisers and a “PoliticalAd” icon that will link to additional information on such ads.

“Over the last several months, the DAA has facilitated an industry dialogue on the best ways to increase transparency around digital political advertising, and we were able to reach consensus on this common-sense approach built on accepted standards and proven tools,” said Lou Mastria, executive director of the DAA.

In addition to setting out definitions of what constitutes “Express Advocacy” in online ads and mobile apps and the expected role of a “Political Advertiser” who pays for such advocacy, the guidance outlines certain transparency requirements.

These cover the presence of an icon or wording that “provides clear, meaningful, and prominent notice that the advertisement is a Political Advertisement”.

This icon or wording should then link to disclosures, including the name and contact details of the political advertiser and any other information required by federal or state law.

The DAA has come up with a variation on its existing program: the blue AdChoices icon which appears on online ads will be replaced by a new “PoliticalAd” icon which, said Mastria, “will give voters instant, easy access to information about the digital political ads they see, directly from the ads themselves”.

Advertising industry figures welcomed the moves to shift political advertising onto the same ground as brand advertising.

“Every day, marketers and advertisers work to build connections with customers based on truth, results and trust,” said Tom Benton, CEO, Data & Marketing Association (DMA).

“Those same principles should apply to all types of advertising, including political advertising.”

Sourced from DAA; additional content by WARC staff