date icon May 29, 2018 category icon News, Press Releases

Internet Association Makes Recommendations To FEC On Election Advertising Regulation

BECKERMAN: “IA supports the use of technology to increase transparency in political communications. IA believes that the rules should be flexible, so as not to constrain future technological advancements.”

 

Washington, DC – Internet Association today announced a filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on election advertising. In the filing, IA President & CEO Michael Beckerman reiterated the industry’s commitment to increasing transparency and protecting America’s elections from foreign interference.

“IA supports the use of technology to increase transparency in political communications. IA believes that the rules should be flexible, so as not to constrain future technological advancements,” Beckerman said in the filing. “IA also believes that technology plays an important role in providing information, and that rollovers, click-throughs, and other technology yet to be developed, can provide far more meaningful information to users than traditional ‘in the box’ disclaimers. The FEC should develop rules that encourage innovation, not rules that limit or restrict new technology.”

The filing makes two key points concerning how the FEC should approach election advertising:

  1. The FEC’s approach to online advertising should recognize and embrace the wide and innovative nature of advertising on the internet. From the filing:
    • “IA’s recommended approach is to allow for more flexibility given the variety of ways that internet content is consumed and to preserve the ability of IA’s members to innovate and to allow users of those platforms to innovate. But it is more than that—it is an approach that makes it easy for end users to see that an advertisement is paid content and then to learn about who paid for the content, regardless of whether they are viewing an ad on a desktop computer, a mobile phone, a watch, or a display panel on a refrigerator.”
  2. Adaptive disclaimers – disclaimers that change with the platform they’re displayed on – allow for innovation and experimentation in the advertising, while also giving transparency and clarity to consumers. From the filing:
    • “All of these approaches include some form of an adaptive disclaimer—typically symbol or word that allows users to obtain full disclaimer information and at times even additional information (such as a link to other ads by the same party or links to FEC reporting data). As the platforms and industry roll out these programs, users will become more and more familiar with the adaptive disclaimers, which will likely become standardized across platforms and content. This will allow users to obtain information more easily while allowing political advertisers more flexibility. Rather than trying to fit a “paid for by” notice on an ad that may change in size when delivered on different platforms or devices, the adaptive disclaimer would be inserted into the ad and be visible and accessible in all formats.”

To read the full filing, click here.

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