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The agenda:

  • Online advertising regulation - using technology to tackle content and targeting issues with website claims, online display and social influencer ads
  • Findings and recommendations from the Review of Online Targeting - next steps for policymakers, regulators and the industry
  • The use of consumer data in online ad targeting and personalisation - privacy, consent, and data handling
  • Content standards and regulation - current risks to consumers and options going forward
  • Latest from the Review of Online Advertising Regulation - key emerging themes from the call for evidence, and the way forward for policy


Key developments in policy and regulation:

  • Online advertising - call for evidence - DCMS considering responses to consultation on its regulatory review
  • Online platforms and digital advertising market study - the CMA’s report on competition finding barriers to entry and other factors leading to ‘substantial harm for consumers and society as a whole’
  • CDEI Review of online targeting - government considering its response to recommendations from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation aimed at increasing online platform accountability and transparency, following the Centre’s Interim report: Review into bias in algorithmic decision-making
  • Real time bidding (RTB)  - the ICO’s ongoing examination of data protection and data handling in the adtech industry relating to the RTB process for online ad placement
  • The Online Harms White Paper - including proposed measures on online advertising as well as regulation of online content more broadly
  • More Impact Online - the ASA’s strategy for the years 2019-2023, including a focus on online advertising including tackling misleading and harmful content and inappropriate ad targeting


The discussion at a glance:

Regulation and standards

  • state of play - current regulatory remedies and enforcement powers, and their effectiveness
  • policy and legislation - possible developments affecting the regulatory framework
  • international cooperation - the way forward for strengthening joint working with other territories on regulation and policy
  • the sector’s response - action the industry itself is taking and could consider going forward


Consumer data

  • state of play - data handling, usage and protection across the online advertising value chain, including corporate transfer of personal user data in RTB processes
  • compliance - the extent to which the industry as a whole is meeting its data protection obligations, and whether regulatory action may be required
  • accountability and transparency - collection and use of consumer data in targeting advertising online, with CDEI finding instances of inadequate safeguards


Consumer protection

  • misleading, inaccurate or harmful online advertising content - options for action,  particularly with respect to vulnerable individuals
  • HFSS - the UK government considering tightening marketing restrictions on high fat, sugar and salt food, including closing online loopholes


Ad placement

  • ad placement - technical approaches and business practice for tackling issues with the context and positioning of marketing messages - including with inappropriate or illegal content  
  • responding to concerns - responsible engagement with advertisers, consumers, advocacy groups and special interests, as well as political and policy stakeholders



  • distribution and use of market power - options for addressing concerns from the CMA and others about outcomes for consumers, publishers, advertisers and others


Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places at this conference have already been reserved by officials from the DCMS and Ofcom.


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