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Advertising & Content Integrity

Native Advertising   I  Anti-Malvertising Best Practices

The Ad & Content Integrity working group helps identify risks to the interactive advertising and content publishing ecosystems and facilitates the development and adoption of best practices identified via a multi-stakeholder process.  Key areas of concern include the evolving use of native advertising; rapid rise in malicious ads (“malvertising”); failure to honor DNT settings and widespread use of tracking for data sharing; and increasing levels of click-fraud in the ad ecosystem. 

Read OTA's Vision for Trustworthy Advertising

While the online ad environment has become increasingly complex, publishers are facing rising economic pressures. Meanwhile, users have become increasingly concerned about privacy, security and the overall online experience. They lack controls over the tracking and collection of their data, and find their online experience degraded. The combined impact has been a fierce backlash in the form of ad blocking, which in turn has triggered an arms race of blocking the blockers. This shows the problem in stark relief: a clear consumer reaction against an ad environment that has gone too far, versus the deep and critical need for publishers to remain economically viable.

Together, these issues threaten to erode consumer trust, undermining online innovation and long-term sustainable revenue streams which keep online content and related services accessible to everyone. OTA embraces an ad-supported internet along with a positive consumer experience and calls for industry commitment to best practices that put the consumer experience first.

See the Committees page to join the working group (OTA members only)

MediaPost The Reckoning: Trust, Transparency, Science and Accountability (January 19, 2016)

DNT blog (September 2014)

ANA Media Transparency Report  (July 18, 2016)

U.S. Senate Report on the Security & Privacy Risks from Online Ads (May 14, 2014)

U.S Senate Hearing Video & Testimonies (May 15, 2014)

OTA Response to Senate Inquiry - Market Incentives, Regulation, Data Sharing & Collaboration with Law Enforcement (June 18, 2014)

OTA Submits Comments to IAB Draft Standards

In response to the Interactive Ad Bureau’s release of the Standard Ad Unit Portfolio Draft can call for public comments, Online Trust Alliance (OTA) submits the following comments and recommendations.  Over the past decade, OTA has worked closely with leaders in the advertising supply chain, including publishers, advertisers and ad networks to increase the trust of online advertising.  Reflecting increased consumer distain for online advertising and usage of ad blockers, OTA recently released a white paper entitled “A Vision for Trustworthy Adverting”.  In this paper OTA call

Aug 4, 2016
Mobile Advertising Watch

All the evidence points to the effectiveness of well done native advertising. But when it fails, it fails spectacularly.  In fact, 71 percent of native advertisements fail to provide adequate transparency, according to fresh news from the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit with a mission to enhance online trust.

Aug 3, 2016

News publishers are flunking their disclosure tests, and they may be killing native advertising in the process.  In a new study released today by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit whose  mission is “to enhance online trust and empower users,” 71 percent of the top 100 news publishers received a failing grade when it came disclosing and delineating their native advertising.  The results come during a pivotal time for the

Aug 3, 2016

The online publishing world still has plenty of work to do when it comes to making sure readers understand when content is paid for by advertisers, according to a new report.

Online Trust Alliance Finds Majority of Native Ads Confusing

Wed, Aug 3, 2016

71% of Native Advertisements Fail To Provide Adequate Transparency

BELLEVUE, Wash. – The Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, today announced the results of its Native Advertising Assessment. The analysis of the native advertisements on the top 100 news websites found that 71 percent earned failing scores for disclosures, delineation and discoverability, thus not providing consumers the ability to easily discern editorial from ads.

Senate Hearing - Hidden Hazards of Online Ads

May 15, 2014 - Craig Spiezle, Executive Director OTA testified before the the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) regarding, “Online Advertising and Hidden Hazards to Consumer Security and Data Privacy." Led by Senator McCain, the PSI issued a formal staff report reflecting interviews with dozens of advertising and industry experts, reviewing data collection processes and security vulnerabilities that have inflicted significant costs on Internet users and American businesses.

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