America’s Association of National Advertisers’ Law & Public Policy Conference will take place at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. on March 15-16. This year, the ANA has assembled leading experts from Google, the Federal Trade Commission, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Southwest Airlines, Anheuser-Busch InBev and others to discuss how marketers and policymakers alike can get ahead of the fast-changing media and regulatory landscape.
Led by ANA Group Executive Vice President of Government Relations Dan Jaffe (right), panelists from a broad cross-section of industries will share insights on how big data, AI, gender parity and consumer privacy are redefining advertising in the digital age. The ANA’s #SeeHer initiative, which promotes a more balanced and accurate portrayal of women in advertising and media, will also be highlighted.
Topics up for discussion include:
· Mandatory disclosures
· EU’s looming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
· The debate over DTC (direct-to-consumer) pharmaceutical ads
· Third party transparency
· Consumer experience and the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA)’s ad standards
· Compliance issues for global advertising campaigns
· Ad blocking standards and solutions
· Ethics in the marketing and advertising industry.
Jaffe shared his thoughts ahead of the conference in a Q&A.
You have a packed agenda for the ANA’s upcoming D.C. conference. What are the three top items on the agenda?
There are so many important issues going on now that it is hard to pick a top three but certainly a very important issue is where the FTC is likely to head in the near future. We are fortunate to have two former FTC Chairman (Deborah Majoras and John Leibowitz) slated to do some crystal ball reading.
Also, privacy issues will be an important part of several sessions but certainly will be a key part of the discussion of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that will go into effect only 71 days after the start of this Law Conference. In addition, we are covering Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet Of Things (IOT) issues that could be very transformative in regard to data usage impacting the marketing function.
One of the hot button issues that the ANA is watching is ePrivacy. How will this be discussed, what is the ANA doing to advance this on behalf of marketers and consumers?
ePrivacy will be discussed as part of the privacy changes taking place in Europe, and I will cover it in my government relations report. ANA intends to keep our members up to date consistently on this issues as this proposal is hammered out throughout the rest of the year and weigh in with our colleagues in Europe where we see opportunities to improve this proposal.
What do marketers need to know about GDPR– the largest overhaul of personal data privacy restrictions in the world to date—and how is the ANA helping them stay in front of the EU deadline?
As noted, we have a major session on this in the Conference, with an expert from the World Federation of Advertisers and a U.S.-based company delving into the key aspects of this rule. ANA also has developed in concert with our general counsel’s firm Reed Smith detailed materials on the GDPR that are available on our website. We intend to update this material throughout the run-up to the final imposition of this regulation. Every company that is collecting personally identifiable data covering EU consumers must become aware of the GDPR requirements or face extremely onerous fines if they violate the rules.
Update us on the Coalition for Better Ads — where is that at, and how is the CBA trying to put consumers first in their efforts?
The CBA, of which ANA is a member, has in conjunction with others in the industry carried out a systematic analysis of what types of ads consumers find most annoying both in the U.S. and the EU. This data is being used to help try to convince all those in the digital marketing system to stop utilizing these types of ads that turn off consumers and can even lead to ad blocking. We will extend these studies to other parts of the world and continue to develop mechanisms to foster a digital marketplace that is reflective of consumer needs and interests.
Transparency, trust and ethics are themes running throughout the hot button issues. Do advertisers, as an industry, need to do a better job of communicating to consumers why they should be trusted and what steps they’re taking?
The industry and the Association of National Advertisers have taken many major steps to provide strong programs to assure consumers that the advertising marketplace is deserving of trust.
We have developed the strongest industry self-regulatory program of any business sector to see to it that ads meet the highest standards of truthfulness and non-deceptiveness through the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC), which is a joint undertaking of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the advertising industry.
Also, we have successfully developed the Digital Advertising Alliance which allows consumers to determine if they want to receive digitally targeted ads or not. They can go to the DAA website and opt out of receiving these ads if they do not want them sent to them. Finally, as mentioned in the question above the CBA program will further strengthen these efforts by creating an enhanced environment of trust and high standards for digital advertising behavior.