ANA Releases Independent Accountability Report for First Half of 2020, Incorporating DAA Principles Enforcement

November 17, 2020

When DAA Accountability Partners publicly report their respective DAA Principles enforcement actions, brands, publishers, agencies, data, ad tech and consumers all benefit.

Independent enforcement is one important hallmark of the Digital Advertising Alliance program.  Brands, agencies, publishers and ad tech companies involved in digital and mobile interest-based marketing space are called upon and expected to adhere to the self-regulatory principles DAA brought to market a decade ago to help consumers with privacy transparency and control.

DAA relies on two organizations – the BBB National Program’s Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP) and the ethics and accountability team at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) – to exercise independent oversight, using the DAA Principles to guide their compliance work. Independence means there’s a firewall between DAA and the investigations the two Accountability Partners undertake. We neither see the marketplace monitoring they do, nor the complaints they field from consumers and business organizations alike. Their casework, too, is confidential – until it is publicly reported.

In late September, for example, ANA released its report on the first half of 2020

ANA’s complaint handling procedures spell out how the organization works with companies – nearly always cooperatively – to resolve the issue. Sometimes, this means reporting to a named company if a consumer is experiencing a broken opt-out link. Usually, the links are not broken on the company’s end, but rather a consumer’s own device or browser setting or other software is interfering with the opt-out signal attempted by the consumer, which is understandably frustrating.  On our own consumer website, we point consumers to ways they can troubleshoot these issues themselves.

Enforcement with Teeth: Going Public with Non-Cooperative Companies

Because of ANA’s and DAAP’s independence and the corporate compliance they pursue, we, in the interest-based advertising (IBA) ecosystem, all benefit from the reporting that they both undertake. ANA and DAAP are two complimentary initiatives that serve to bolster the work of DAA, the industry and consumer education initiatives we undertake, and to let regulators know that we mean what we say in the IBA sector. Because we – incorporating our Accountability Partners -- act, we monitor and we enforce.

When a company is not cooperative – which is thankfully rare – ANA reserves the right to name that company publicly, as it has done in its most recent report involving Netgear and Banyan Publishing. (These two public actions occurred in July and December 2019.) It also can refer non-compliant firms to a government entity, such as the Federal Trade Commission.

We will soon publish our Enforcement in Action 4.0 casebook showcasing lessons learned from DAA enforcement efforts to date – incorporating all matters of transparency, choice, location, platforms, and roles of first and third parties and agencies, too.  With many of us working remotely, feel free to provide us an alternate address at which to mail to you a qualified, complimentary copy here.  Because DAA Principles self-regulatory compliance is just as important now, as when enforcement began nearly 10 years ago.

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