On April 7, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced the release of its Ad Marker Implementation Guidelines for Mobile (Ad Marker Guidelines) at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Mobile Marketplace conference. The DAA is a consortium of national advertising and marketing trade groups that acts as an industry self-regulatory body. While the DAA traditionally focused on online advertising, the surge in mobile advertising in the last few years has caused it to increasingly address issues unique to the mobile ad space. The Ad Marker Guidelines follow on the heels of the DAA’s publication last summer of a policy guidance document on mobile advertising titled, “Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment.”
The DAA’s AdChoices (Ad Marker) icon is the blue triangular image that is the centerpiece of the organization’s ad choices program and is often delivered in or alongside interest-based ads in the online and mobile environments. Approved text accompanying the icon includes any of the following:
- Why did I get this ad?
- Interest Based Ads
When a consumer clicks on the Ad Marker, they receive information about the targeted nature of the advertisement and guidance on how to opt-out of behaviorally targeting advertising. The Ad Marker Guidelines “address use cases in which consumers interact with the screen without using a cursor, as is the case when they use mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.”
The Ad Marker Guidelines cover both in-ad implementation (i.e., size, touchpad area, in-ad placement and in-ad user experience) and app developer and publisher implementation (i.e., ad marker placement and flow for developers and publishers). Below are some of the key takeaways.
Size: The smaller screen size and ad creative sizes associated with mobile devices justify implementation of the Ad Marker through the icon itself, provided it is at least 12 pixels by 12 pixels in size.
Touchpad Area: The Ad Marker should include an invisible touch pad area between 20×20 and 40×40 pixels and mobile devices should include enough area to allow the user to easily interact with the Ad Marker.
In-Ad Placement: For an in-ad placement, the entity serving the notice may position the Ad Marker in any one of the four corners of the ad, although placement in the upper right hand corner is discouraged because that is where the close button for ads is normally located. When the icon is used concurrently with approved text, the Ad Marker Guidelines recommend placing the icon in the immediate corner of the ad with the approved text adjacent to the icon.
In-Ad User Experience: Tapping on the Ad Marker results in any one of the following four experiences:
- Link directly to a notice that contains a mechanism that allows users to exercise their interest based preferences or to instructions for device-specific advertising preferences.
- Tapping on the icon the first time expands the notice to show the approved text and a second tap brings the user to the preference mechanism or to instruction for device-specific controls.
App Developer and Publisher Implementation
The Ad Marker Guidelines advise that “[w]hen implementing the DAA Ad Marker, application developers and mobile Web publishers need to consider both the placement of the Ad Marker and user access to the notice and choice it provides.”
Mobile publisher notices should use any of the three approved texts and when the icon accompanies an approved text, it should be at least 12 pixels by 12 pixels in size.
The in-app notice is accessible from the app’s Settings menu. The best placement of the notice is in the mobile page footer.
The Ad Marker Guidelines provide practical, easy to understand directions that will allow those serving ads in the mobile environment, including those on the creative size, to consistently utilize the Ad Marker icon. Use of the Ad Marker helps facilitate compliance with the enhanced notice requirements set forth in the DAA’s Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment.