Industry Proposes New ‘Data Transparency Label’

Advertising Law

In an effort to improve transparency, the advertising industry released a new label, modeled after the Food and Drug Administration’s nutrition label, that will provide consumers with information about its data use.

Developed by the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Data Marketing & Analytics (DMA) Division, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab, the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and the Advertising Research Foundation, the Data Transparency Label is open for public comment for a six-month period.

The label contains four descriptive sections that disclose not nutrients but instead (1) the data solution provider and distributor information (who provided the data segment and, where applicable, the original data provider), (2) the audience construction (including details such as audience count and audience refresh rates), (3) the audience snapshot (a description of what audience segment the label describes, with applicable geographic coverage) and (4) the source information (where the original data components were sourced, for each significant data source).

For example, in the sample label’s audience snapshot, it lists a branded name, standard name and audience description (“Households likely in the market to purchase a new vehicle in the next six months”) as well as a geographies field (“USA”). It remains unclear how and where the label would be displayed on data products or services.

After the public comment period—during which time companies are invited to test the label—the groups intend to finalize the label and create a centralized database to “house the label information, as well as an associated compliance program that will govern disclosure, certification and validation.”

To view the sample Data Transparency Label, click here.

Why it matters: Intended to help marketers and agencies “more responsibly leverage data and deliver more relevant messages to consumers,” the proposed Data Transparency Label is also aimed at satisfying the requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. “The industry now has a well-considered, easy to use and easy to understand label that clearly defines critical data source information,” Tom Benton, ANA Group executive vice president of the DMA Division, said in a statement. “We hope that the transparency this label brings will be a driving force that improves data integrity, data quality and the decisions that marketers and fundraisers make every day.”



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