IAB And AAAA Update Contract Guidelines, Specify Who Owns Data
The Interactive Advertising Bureau and Association of American Advertising Agencies have unveiled an updated model contract for online media buys that would limit advertisers' and publishers' ability to use data "owned" by one or the other.
"Data is highly sensitive and valuable to all parties involved in interactive advertising," the groups say in a guide to its new voluntary terms and conditions, which were released Wednesday for public comment. The prior voluntary terms and conditions, issued in 2002, did not address who could harvest information.
"The data uses section was very generic. It just said, 'We don't have an opinion on this, everything's owned by everybody, and everything can be owned by everybody,'" said Jeremy Fain, vice president of industry services at the IAB. "As we've developed things like behavioral targeting, user profiling, etc., we obviously needed some guidelines."
Among other changes, the updated terms and conditions restrict advertisers' ability to retarget users based on information collected at publishers' sites. That is, advertisers (and their agencies) can't now decide to send a second ad to users simply because they already viewed a first ad at a particular publisher's site.
"The fear is, agencies have been harvesting this data for free -- or want to -- and that's not part of the current business model," Fain says. "If an agency wants to buy the data from a media company, that's fine, but it has to do so in a separate negotiation."
The new terms and conditions also state that media companies can't create profiles based on how users interact with particular advertisers. "If, for example, it is known that a media company has only one auto brand advertising on its site and it develops a behavioral targeting segment called 'auto enthusiasts' based solely or substantially on user interactions with ads from that one auto brand, it would be a breach of contract," the guide to the new terms says.
In addition to limits on data use, the new terms and conditions also address matters like billing and payment, cancellation and how to handle late creative.
The IAB and 4As will accept public comment on the updated terms and conditions until Jan. 29.