The Keystone of Self-Regulation: Independent Enforcement

Credible self-regulation includes an independent enforcement component – and we have that in DAA’s two enforcement partners, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB).

I call accountability the keystone of our program – as it truly brings added integrity and transparency to the Principles… some have said “enforcement with teeth.”

The DMA has not yet announced its 2014 Annual Ethics Compliance Report. However, from preliminary data provided to us by DMA, from the approximately 539 consumer complaints it handled this past year related through the DAA complaint mechanism, just 33 specifically dealt with data collection and interest-based ads.  

In 2014, the CBBB issued 10 decisions – bringing the total to 42 since Principles enforcement began in 2012. Among these was the first case referred to a federal law enforcement agency.

Additionally this year, CBBB also issued two communications – one as a reminder, one as a warning – to educate the marketplace about DAA Principles compliance:

"Accountability Program… Requires All Players in Ad Ecosystem to Work as a Team to Ensure Compliance"

"'Cookie-less' Technologies Subject to Accountability Program Enforcement: Companies Using Alternative Identification Technologies for Interest-Based Advertising Must Provide Transparency, Choice to Consumers or Risk Inquiry"

Finally, in December, CBBB issued a compliance warning about native advertising that is also interest-based needs to adhere to DAA Principles:

   “Native or Not: Interest-Based Ads Must Comply with Self-Regulation”

These decisions and dispositions act as guidance to all industry players, and DAA uses these decisions to underscore our own industry education efforts.

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