Today, the Digital Advertising Alliance launched a new initiative to increase transparency and accountability around digital political advertisements.  As part of the initiative, political advertisers will be asked to use a new "PoliticalAd" icon (or other qualifying disclosure) on certain political advertisements.

The DAA issued guidance, "Application of the Self-Regulatory principles of Transparency & Accountability to Political Advertising," which describes the program.  The guidance "responds to the growing use of digital advertising platforms and technologies to reach potential audiences with political advertising and creates new tools to provide greater transparency and accountability to such emerging practices."

Under the DAA's new guidance, advertisements that expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office in federal and certain state-wide elections must include the "PoliticalAd" icon (or other qualifying disclosure).  The icon or disclosure then links to more information about the advertisement, including: 

  • The name of the advertiser;
  • Contact information for the advertiser;
  • Other legally required information and disclaimers;
  • A link to a government database of contributions and expenditures for the advertiser, if applicable; and
  • The name of the advertiser's CEO, executive committee, board of directors, or treasurer.

Compliance with the guidance will be monitored and enforced by the Advertising Self Regulatory Council and the Data & Marketing Association.  Advertisers that are non-compliant will be referred to the appropriate government agency.

The DAA plans to release additional information about how to implement the program, as well as expectations for when advertisers must be in compliance, later this year.