Some Political Campaigns 'Fall Far Short' Of Ad Industry Guidelines

Some political ad campaigns are failing to follow the ad industry's best practices guidance, according to a new report by a self-regulatory watchdog.

For the report, the BBB National Program's Digital Advertising Accountability Program examined 1,071 political ads that appeared online between Jan. 1 and April 20 of this year.

Around 9% of those ads didn't include any type of notifications that they were political, such as a disclaimer stating they were paid for by a campaign.

None of the ads carried the industry's purple “Political Ad” icon, unveiled in May of 2018.

“As a result of our monitoring, we found that some political advertisers fall far short of full compliance with political advertising transparency best practices,” the watchdog states in a report issued Wednesday.



Last November, the Digital Advertising Alliance issued guidance calling for political advertisers to place those icons in electioneering ads, along with links to disclosures about the name of the advertiser and related material.

Even though none of the political ads came with the new purple-colored icon, more than 260 included the more familiar “AdChoices” icon -- which aims to tell people how their web-surfing data is used for behavioral advertising.

Five hundred and seventy-five of the ads examined appeared on social media, while 384 ran on the “open web,” and 112 ran on search engines.

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