TrustArc Blog

BBB to Enforce Compliance with OBA Practices in Native Ads

December 30, 2014

According to Lexology, native advertising is “expected to grow from $7.9 billion in spending this year to $21 billion by 2018.” When using other forms of interest-based advertising, companies are strongly encouraged to abide by the self-regulatory Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) principles that issue compliance guidelines, and champion transparency and consumer control. Now, native advertising is being added to the list of advertising tactics that the BBB says should comply as well. Native advertising is the best way for websites to bring in revenue, so it’s essential companies comply with best practices and regulations, as this type of advertising will only continue to grow.

Beginning in January, the Better Business Bureau will be enforcing rules requiring privacy disclosures for native ads. The BBB stated last month that interest-based native ads will be required to follow the self-regulatory guidelines of the OBA principles and in addition, native ads will require a privacy disclosure. The BBB enforces the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for OBA. The DAA is a non-profit group that works with businesses, public policy groups and public officials to create best practices for advertising.

Complying with OBA practices is a smart move since it can help businesses to build trust with consumers. Research has shown that most consumers do not like being tracked: 69% of mobile users said they did not like being tracked, and 52% of online users said they do not like being tracked and that they are more likely to visit websites that are transparent about OBA practices.

“Native advertisements personalized for consumers based on their prior browsing across websites must comply with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA),” the BBB wrote. “Companies involved in interest-based native ads are responsible for meeting all the requirements of the OBA principles, just as they would be with respect to any other ads based on interest.”

The BBB notice points out that OBA best practices don’t only apply to information collected by cookies, but also flash cookies and cross-device technology such as device fingerprinting.

Companies should implement opt-out solutions in order to comply with the DAA’s OBA principles. Our TRUSTed Ads solution can be added to your “Native” Interest-based ads and help you stay compliant with this new enforcement.

What do you think about the use of Online Behavioral Advertising in native ads? Ask your questions in the comments section.