ASAI issues new rules for self-regulation of online ads using cookies

21 Jun 2013

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland has issued new rules for the self-regulation of Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA), which involves using cookies gathered through web browsers, such as Explorer, Chrome or Firefox, to deliver targeted ads to consumers’ computers.

The use of cookies provides advertisers with insights into web-viewing behaviour to deliver ads more likely to be of interest to the user of a computer.

The new rules require companies to make it clear they are gathering information in this way and most are likely to do so by including an icon in the corner of online ads.

The rules also give consumers the right to decide if they want to receive OBA-based ads.

Information about OBA, how it works and how consumers can opt out of it if they choose is available on the ASAI website.

The rules include not targeting under-12s as a segment and giving a clear and comprehensive notice if they are using web-viewing behavioural data for the purpose of OBA.

Before targeting consumers based on their data, advertisers need to get their “explicit” permission first.

Awareness of OBA

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Ireland will be rolling out a consumer-focused awareness campaign beginning 24 June as part of a pan-European initiative designed to increase consumer awareness of OBA and to know their rights.

The first phase of the campaign also begins in June in the UK and Germany. Other EU countries will join the schedule in the autumn.

“The launch is the result of a huge effort from all sectors of the European online advertising ecosystem, involving representative associations at both EU and national level, as well as the direct involvement of digital media companies providing substantial amounts of advertising inventory to ensure the campaign reaches a significant audience across Europe,” said John Chase, chairman of the European Advertising Standards Alliance.

Digital marketing image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years