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New transparency and choice rules for Online Behavioural Advertising

21 November 2012

New rules providing transparency and choice for consumers around Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) will be included in the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing from 4 February 2013.

OBA is a form of targeted advertising. Third parties, often referred to as ad networks or ad exchanges, partner with websites from whom they collect data on users’ web viewing behaviour, in order to deliver to them advertising that is more likely to be of interest.

The new rules will be enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority and will require:

  • notice to be provided to web users in or around the advertisement delivered by OBA and;
  • choice via an opt out mechanism to prevent user web viewing behaviour from being collected and used for OBA.

The rules form part of a European Best Practice Recommendation that the European industry has drawn up and similar rules will be incorporated into advertising codes across Europe. The new rules mark a significant step forward in ensuring that targeted marketing techniques can flourish to the benefit of both the advertising industry and consumers.

CAP Chairman, James Best said: “The new rules surrounding OBA are the latest example of the advertising self-regulatory system responding effectively to the challenge of new technologies and advertising trends. The ASA’s regulation of OBA will bolster consumers’ on-going trust in how data around their web viewing behaviour is collected by notifying and then enabling them to exercise choice over receiving such ads.”

CAP will review the rules after 12 months and has published a Help Note to help third parties comply with the new rules before they come into force on 4 February.

Read CAP’s full regulatory statement here (PDF).

Read the new rules here (PDF). 

Access CAP’s advice Help Note here

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