DoubleVerify Brings Compliance With Privacy Codes

Three-year-old DoubleVerify wants to bring more accountability and trust into online advertising, addressing problems like ads running near inappropriate content such as pornography sites and companies not getting what they paid for. Not easy issues to police, but necessary to run a respectable business.

DoubleVerify first addressed these issues with a series of products, Brand Assure and Ad Assure, that centered more on the verification of an ad campaign. About 150 of Fortune 500 advertisers use these platforms.

In the past year an adjacent requirement surfaced: self-compliance with privacy regulations so the industry can bypass formal government regulation. To help, DoubleVerify developed what CEO Oren Netzer calls Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) compliance. The product for advertisers and ad networks launched in December, so if companies ever get called out by Washington they now have a record of compliance, according to Netzer.

"Put simply, DoubleVerify clients can rest assured, that with a click of a button they can stay ahead of industry regulations and keep their customers informed about behaviorally targeted ads," according to company materials. "DoubleVerify provides clients with the Ad Option icon, the interstitial informing consumers about the details of the behaviorally targeted ad, as well as a link to either a network or other third party preference management system."



The service costs nothing until June 1, in hopes of speeding adoption. When fees kick in, the product runs off a "CPM fee, a few pennies" per impression, according to Netzer.

About 40 companies have or are in the process of becoming OBA- compliant. Adoption rates among marketers have been much higher compared with ad networks, says Netzer.

One challenge that recently surfaced, however, is a lack of clear guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission on exactly what advertisers and ad networks need to do. Some companies remain on the fence. Others continue to struggle with implementation from other sources because it adds another layer of complexity to the process.

Last week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau gave members up to six months to comply with a code of conduct for behaviorally targeted ads. New members must comply within three months or forfeit membership. The code states third parties and service providers must provide "clear, meaningful, and prominent notice" on their Web sites that describe the data collected for online behavioral advertising. They also must explain how it's used.

This should speed adoption of the DoubleVerify product by ad networks.

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