Sparked by revelations surrounding the illicit use of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) this morning called for new ad industry “guidelines and standards to govern consumer data collection and protection." The federation also announced it is reconsidering a prestigious award it bestowed Cambridge Analytica last year and will "rescind" it if allegations surrounding its illicit practices are proven to be true.
“We invite all industry members and industry bodies to join with us to not only contribute ideas and thoughts but to work with their constituents to ensure adoption once developed,” ARF President Scott McDonald said this morning during his opening remarks on Day Two of the ARF’s annual conference in New York City.
“The ARF feels compelled to make this call as we are the industry body set up to advance the understanding and practice of advertising through science and reason,” he added, noting "and we do so on behalf of all participants in the industry -- buyers and sellers, creators and marketers. As such, it is our responsibility to lead in getting this initiative underway.”
McDonald said the first step will involve a collaboration with the American Marketing Association’s New York office to host a “Town Hall” discussion on the topic on April 26th at the ARF’s New York headquarters.
“The goal will be to form a working group that can draft, for further debate and consideration, a proposed code of conduct that is relevant to our world of 2018 and beyond,” McDonald outlined, noting that “the proceedings will be live-streamed to facilitate participation.”
“The consumer is our partner. We need consumer data to advance the needs of our industry. But to continue to have the right to access that data we must demonstrate respect for our partner, and value to a greater extent the courtesy our partner has extended us,” he concluded -- but not before noting that the ARF would rescind Cambridge Analytica’s 2017 David Ogilvy Award “if the allegations of illegal or deceptive practices are sustained by the inquiries underway.”
“The ARF will formally rescind the award, on the grounds that the work did not, in retrospect, meet our standards and requirements,” he said.