Online ad self-regulation group endorses 'Trusted Ads' platform

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Online advertising self-regulation group the Digital Advertising Alliance endorsed TRUSTe's “Trusted Ads” platform on January 20, prior to the service's rollout. It is the group's third approval of an online ad platform.

Online security firm TRUSTe, which launched a pilot program last year, said it will roll out the ad platform after the DAA endorsement, offering a free trial to publishers and advertisers. Evidon, formerly known as Better Advertising, and DoubleVerify are the two other companies endorsed by the organization.

The Trusted Ads platform, used by companies such as Publishers Clearing House, Intuit Media and Media6Degrees, allows companies to tag every ad with the “advertising option” icon. When a consumer clicks on the icon, he or she will see a pop-up window with details about online ads and ad networks, as well as information on opting out of all or some tracking.

“We're pretty confident that companies are going to be pleased with the overall consumer experience,” said Fran Maier, president of TRUSTe. “We expect that few consumers will actually opt out, but it will give the companies the opportunity to express the kind of transparency and choices available to consumers.”

The DAA confirms that advertisers and publishers using an online advertising platform are in compliance with self-regulation guidelines established in 2009 before endorsement. A range of industry organizations, including the Direct Marketing Association, the Better Business Bureau and the Interactive Advertising Bureau developed the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising in July 2009 in response to calls for greater transparency and consumer control in data collection.

The platform also allows advertisers to track and report on how consumers are interacting with the ads.

“We're talking with policymakers about the success of the program, and they want to see us succeed,” said Stuart Ingis, partner at Venable LLP and counsel to the DAA and the DMA. “We're excited about the TRUSTe announcement because they have a good client base that will be deploying the icon, and a well-known brand in the consumer trust area.”

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