Two announcements in as many weeks have caught my attention.
As from the 1st March 2011 marketing communications on websites will be regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
As a consequence it is imperative to ensure that any content on your website is compliant. This is all very new information and many of the finer details have yet to emerge. We are keeping close to this development and aim to ensure that all our customer sites are compliant.
Additionally From 25 May, European laws dictate that “explicit consent” must be gathered from web users who are being tracked via “cookies”. Cookies are widely used to help users navigate faster around sites they visit regularly and businesses are being urged to sort out how they get consent so they can keep on using cookies.
The significance of both of these are far reached and website designers and their clients need to carefully consider their actions.
The changes are demanded by the European e-Privacy directive which comes into force in the UK in late May. The section of the directive dealing with cookies was drawn up in an attempt to protect privacy and, in particular, limit how much use could be made of behavioural advertising.
What is on-line behavioural advertising ?
Online behavioural advertising is a way of using information about your web browsing activity to group you with other users into interest groups and serve you advertisements based upon these interests.
Behavioural advertising differs from other forms of advertising on the internet such as contextual advertising, which is provided in response to your current, session-based activities (including search queries or websites visited)
There are different ways to provide behavioural advertising. At a basic level, information about your web browsing activity – together with information about thousands of other users’ browsing – is collected and segmented into general groups, such as cars, finance and travel. An interest profile (for example – “cars”) is inferred from data about the sites you have visited and a file known as a cookie is placed on your computer to identify you as someone interested in the category “cars”. Advertisers and websites will tailor adverts for groups of users with the same interest and the cookie enables such relevant display advertising to be delivered to you
You receive online display advertising that is relevant to you and your interests. For example, if you’re interested in gardening and visit gardening websites, you may – in the same or a later online session – receive advertising for special offers on lawnmowers.
Isn’t tracking my on-line activity a benefit to me ?
More targeted advertising is beneficial as you’ll receive more relevant adverts as well as access to free quality content, services and applications. It is beneficial to advertisers as they are able to reach the audience that is most likely to be interested in this information, leaving out those who are not likely to be interested. It is also beneficial for web publishers as advertising allows them to continue to provide free content and make that advertising more relevant to their users. This advertising revenue helps to fund future innovations and services on the internet provide free content and make that advertising more relevant to their users. This advertising revenue helps to fund future innovations and services on the internet.
IAB Good Practice Principles
The IAB has developed a set of self-regulatory IAB Good Practice Principles for online behavioural advertising. These Principles are for businesses that collect and use data for behavioural advertising. They are based upon offering users notice about data collection and use, choice as to whether to participate and education about behavioural advertising and its benefits
This form of marketing involves people being tracked across websites, with their behaviour used to create a profile that dictates the type of adverts they see.
As part of its work to comply with the directive, the IAB – an industry body that represents web ad firms – created a site that explains how behavioural advertising works and lets people opt out of it.
The directive demands that users be fully informed about the information being stored in cookies and told why they see particular adverts.
Eko UK is staying close to these recent developments and working hard to ensure all its existing clients are compliant and to ensure all its future projects are compliant from the outset.
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