New York, NY, January 31, 2011 — The Direct Marketing Association announced today that it is beginning enforcement activities to ensure industry compliance with the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising (the Program), which DMA launched with its association partners in October 2010. The Program gives consumers enhanced notice and choices about the interest-based advertising they receive, and gives businesses a clear road map to compliance with the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising that were released in July 2009.
The Program calls for interest-based ads to include an "Advertising Option Icon" that links consumers to information about online behavioral advertising and allows them to make choices about the interest-based ads they receive. Since November 2010, consumers have been able to visit the industry-developed AboutAds Consumer Opt-Out Page to easily opt-out of some or all of the interest-based ads they receive, if they choose.
"We have spent the past few months working hard to educate businesses about the Program and the responsibilities that they have under the Principles," said Linda Woolley, DMA's executive vice president of government affairs. "With billions of ad impressions featuring the Advertising Option Icon served already, and dozens of new companies being added to the AboutAds Consumer Opt-Out Page, we are now moving forward with monitoring and enforcement to make sure that businesses are using interest-based advertising responsibly across the entire advertising and marketing ecosystem."
With more than forty years of experience with effective industry self-regulation, DMA is the clear choice to enforce compliance with the Program. "We will continue to take complaints from consumers, as well as companies who may be concerned that their competitors are not playing fair by complying with the Principles," said Woolley. "With the addition of monitoring technology, we can now proactively look out for compliance issues across the Internet, and gather evidence to effectively investigate the complaints we receive."