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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

Jan 18, 2018
Fast Company

Over the past couple of weeks, internet users have been complaining of a new wave of hard-to-close, misleading, and malicious ads popping across websites big and small. Some of the ads even make it impossible for people to read news and other content by redirecting browsers to spammy sites or popping up mobile app store pages for undesired software.

Nov 16, 2016
Advertising Age

The Online Trust Alliance, comprised of a wide array of members including Microsoft, Twitter, programmatic ad-tech company OpenX, digital publisher group Digital Content Next, security software firms and even the National Association of Realtors, has published a paper calling on the ad industry to be more inclusive and holistic in its self-regulatory approach to cleaning up ad fraud and staving off the threat of ad blocking on

Nov 16, 2016

The Online Trust Alliance wants to address the boycott of advertising by consumers running ad blocking, so it's calling on ad industry executives to get their heads out of the sand and step up to make several changes. "Someone running an ad blocker in their browser is boycotting advertising," said Craig Spiezle, president of the Online Trust Alliance.

Sep 12, 2016
Ad Exchanger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reserves the right to change its mind on sponsored content disclosures. A complete lack of disclosure led to an FTC settlement with Lord & Taylor in March. With social media influencer marketing representing is a far murkier space than native, brands need to navigate it in a way that doesn’t abuse consumer trust (or piss off the FTC).

Aug 15, 2016
KOMO Radio News

Craig Spiezle, President and Executive Director of the Online Trust Alliance joins Herb Weisbaum for a discussion of OTA research on native advertising. Click to listen on OTA's YouTube channel.

Aug 10, 2016
min online

I almost felt honored when John Oliver took on the topic of native advertising on an episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” in 2014. But two years later, a new report from the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) would have me believe that native hasn’t grown up that much, despite some heavy guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last December.

Aug 10, 2016
Fierce CMO

Native ads are designed to blend into the editorial content on web pages, but new data shows they may be doing too good a job. According to the Online Trust Alliance's Native Advertising Assessment, a majority of native ads fail to distinguish themselves as advertisements, which can lead to readers mistaking them for content and skipping over them.

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


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