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New Digital Rules & Regulations Are on the Horizon

The digital advertising landscape is ever changing. On the horizon now are new rules and regulations that effect advertisers, political,…

The digital advertising landscape is ever changing. On the horizon now are new rules and regulations that effect advertisers, political, advocacy and brand alike.

What are the new rules?

Facebook has increased its regulation of political ads. Pages serving political ads must now be verified, which can take up to 48 hours. A disclaimer including “Paid for by” must be at the top of ads, and a searchable archive of all political ads will be available to anyone who wants to research, from the media to voters to rival campaigns. Ads based on a broad list of issues, including abortion, foreign policy, guns and immigration among many others, are also subject to these new requirements.

Read more about Facebook’s new rules here.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new set of rules in effect in the European Union, affects U.S. businesses and anyone who does business with a resident of the EU. The new regulation in a nutshell requires organizations to have explicit consent from a user to collect their data. That means if someone in the EU purchases a product online, that seller does not have the automatic right to sell that consumer’s data to a 3rd party firm. They must have explicit consent to do so. These new rules will likely influence new rules in the U.S. as well.

What other new regulations are on the horizon?
Back here in the U.S., individual state legislatures are mulling over the idea of additional regulations. Take Maryland, where legislation is advancing that would require social media platforms to follow the same disclosures as television advertising. All of that talk is further influencing industry leaders like Facebook and Google to self-regulate and establish standards and best practices that will impact how advertisers run ads.

This November in California, voters will decide on a proposed ballot measure, opposed by Google and Facebook, that would provide consumers with increased privacy rights, including the ability to ask companies to disclose the data they have collected on them, demand they not sell or share that data, and the ability to sue companies in violation of the law.

What are the implications for advertisers?
Political advertisers will certainly face additional scrutiny on Facebook in particular, and more hoops to jump through will require extra organization and planning on the front end, including factoring in the additional time it may take to verify a Facebook page before running political ads.

What are the alternatives?
Currently, mobile advertising does not have any of these onerous restrictions. Self-regulation could change that in the future, but mobile’s fragmented market will make that a longer and more drawn-out change than what we see today with the Facebook and larger platforms.

Don’t let the additional regulations on Facebook deter you from including Facebook advertising in your overall digital pan. Facebook remains a strong platform whose user-disclosed information allows for specific audiences to be built to reach people where they are consuming content. Facebook in particular is a good option for campaigns seeking to convert email sign ups, petition signatures, donations, and the like.

For more information on building digital ad campaigns that include both social media advertising as well as mobile advertising, get started with our national and state strategists today.