Leading advertising associations promote transparency for political ads in wake of federal election
September 12, 2019, Toronto – Leading Canadian advertising associations have developed a platform to make it easy for political advertisers to ensure that the ads they run in the federal election are transparent and in compliance with recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act.
“Our Political Ads Program makes it easy for advertisers to inform online users about who has placed the ad, while preserving maximum space for the advertiser’s message and images,” said Ron Lund, chair of the board of the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC). “Using tags generated by DAAC’s notice platform, publishers can deal efficiently with time-sensitive election ads.”
Advertisers participating in the program will place the DAAC’s purple icon beside the wordmark “Political Ad Disclosure / Mention Publicité politique” at the top of their ads. When people hover their mouse over ads displaying the icon, information required under the Elections Act will appear in an overlay box.
The program supports various ad sizes, including mobile and video ads. Custom-built native advertising sizes can also be created by working one-on-one with the DAAC and its compliance partner, Forward Logic. If advertisers need to update their information, they can change it once in the platform, and all of their ads will reflect the new information.
“DAAC’s program brings transparency to consumers so that they can better evaluate the political ads they are seeing,” said Sara Clodman, vice president of public affairs and thought leadership at the Canadian Marketing Association. “The purple logo will be particularly helpful on tablets and smartphones, where ad space is most limited.”
The program also verifies advertisers, ensuring that they are Canadian and registered with Elections Canada. It is open to political parties and to third-party advertisers registered with Elections Canada.
Participating advertisers receive a license from the DAAC, which remains active for four years or until the next federal election is called. The fee a political advertiser pays includes the ability to use a custom-made in-ad transparency tool at no extra cost, which allows the organization to use the platform during by-election campaigns as well.
For most political advertisers, the fee to participate in the program is $750, which entitles them to use the platform for four years or until the next general election. For political parties, the fee is $7,500 as it covers all candidates in the party’s roster and unlimited user accounts.
Participating in the DAAC’s Political Ads Program is an election expense subject to the spending limit, which is why the DAAC aimed to make the program as affordable as possible for organizations.
“We hope to see adoption of this program to ensure a reliable, streamlined opportunity for consumers to identify registered political ads,” said Jill Briggs, head of policy and regulatory affairs at the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada.
The DAAC is hosting several webinars to inform political advertisers, including political parties, third party organizations and candidates, of compliance requirements during the federal election. The free webinars will also help the digital ad industry to get a better understanding of the self-regulatory program’s components.
The Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC) is a consortium of Canada’s national advertising and marketing associations. It was created to provide a robust and credible program for responsible online interest-based advertising. It’s main program, YourAdChoices.ca, provides a blue triangular in the corner of ads that can be clicked or tapped to see who posted the ad and enables people to opt out of receiving a specific type or series of ads.