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Following the ongoing conversations ISBA and advertisers have had with Google over the past year, they have today announced new measures to protect brands and ensure their ads run alongside content that ‘reflects their values’.
The measures, outlined by YouTube’s Paul Muret, include:
Stricter criteria for monetisation on YouTube
Manually reviewing Google Preferred
Greater transparency and simpler controls over where ads appear
View the full update here >
We have been in regular discussions with Google for some time and it’s clear from these changes that Google is listening to advertisers and ISBA in the UK, especially in increasing the availability of proactively vetted YouTube content for advertising.
We welcome the raised thresholds and additional checks for monetisation and will continue to work with members and Google to determine if the new policy proves effective.
In March 2017 Google advised ISBA and its members that they would be working with third party vendors on brand safety, so we look forward to the successful completion of these integrations. In December’s blog, YouTube promised regular transparency reporting on brand safety and we hope to see more detail on this very soon.
We will continue to update you on all relevant developments as they occur.
Facebook has announced that they are to make significant changes to their news feed, focusing on content allowing more "meaningful social interactions."
The shift away from branded posts and news stories follows research which indicated that passively reading articles or watching videos may not be good for our well-being.
The key changes, outlined by CEO Mark Zuckerburg, which advertisers should note include:
While some have called out the updates as a move to 'pre-empt the regulators', many industry commentators have focused on the financial implications, and how it will force brands to 'become better media planners'.
ISBA will welcome any changes that result in the public feeling less bombarded by poor quality advertising and having to feel less wary about what is being presented in feeds.
However, more detail is needed and we would strongly urge Facebook to be more open and accountable to advertisers and the public in its assessment of the current position and in its reporting of the impact of any measures it takes.
View Mark Zuckerberg's blog which outlines the key changes here.
Abi Slater Director of Communications
T: 020 7291 9020 M: 07917 048835
ISBA 12 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8LH
Follow us on Twitter: @isbasays
ISBA represents the leading UK advertisers. We champion the needs of marketers through advocacy. We influence necessary change, speaking with one voice to all stakeholders including agencies, regulators, platform owners and government. Our members include the UK’s biggest brands.
ISBA is the voice of the advertiser in the UK Advertising Association tripartite. They are the advertisers’ representative on CAP and BCAP the UK advertising code body. ISBA represents UK advertisers in the WFA and ISBA's Director General, Phil Smith sits on the Executive Committee and the National Associations Council.
I wanted to start the year by reiterating ISBA’s commitment to ensuring that the major platforms step up fully to their responsibilities to society and are held to account to the same standards we would expect of responsible advertisers.
While we acknowledge the increased efforts by Google to make YouTube a safe platform for its users and suitable for advertisers, we continue to press for a more open and proactive approach to the vetting of content to address the issues identified and concerns raised in the UK.
The media continue to be able to uncover examples of unacceptable content, it appears with relative ease. Two such stories have run over the Christmas break allowing journalists to continue to assert that major brands are funding the publishers of unacceptable content, albeit inadvertently.
• Jailed sex pests profit from YouTube ads
• Call for crackdown after claims YouTube is shop window for child abuse
Please note these links are behind a paywall.
Political frustrations are also growing. Government Security Minister Ben Wallace gave an interview calling for the major tech platforms, including Google and Facebook, to face greater taxes to cover the costs of extra surveillance incurred by the security services because of lack of access to encrypted messaging. He made clear Government impatience with the tech industry in key areas: low levels of corporation tax compliance, the hosting of child abuse images and terrorist propaganda and online harassment. He is also concerned about the collateral damage to the media industry and democracy. The original article is behind a paywall but was also covered by the BBC.
For many advertisers, we recognise that there are huge commercial and competitive pressures to continue to invest. The platforms enjoy unassailable positions in search, social media and user-generated video. For many businesses, these channels are now essential parts of the business system. And audiences continue to migrate online and to mobile. However, advertisers should be concerned that unwelcome attention may turn to them in the near future, as the platforms’ principal source of revenue.
As the only organisation dedicated to representing advertisers, ISBA has a crucial role in addressing these challenges. We can and do represent our members’ perspective to the platforms and can and do work with Government where we share interests. While we understand, and indeed share Government’s frustration, we do not think that a fiscal response is the right one. Instead, we would like to explore with Government, our members and the platforms a range of statutory and self-regulatory policies, which we believe would be more effective.
In the meantime, we have recently reissued our Online Brand Safety Guidance which can be found here.
We have also convened another meeting with Google in February, where they will be presenting their action plan to strengthen content control to our members.
CAP/BCAP have today (Tuesday, 02.01) introduced strict new rules prohibiting the sexual portrayal or sexual representation of under-18s in advertising.
The rules have come into force following a full public consultation and six month implementation period and also prohibit the sexual portrayal of those who appear to be under 18.
The new Codes are as follows:
New CAP Code rule: 4.8 Marketing communications must not portray or represent anyone who is, or seems to be, under 18 in a sexual way. However, this rule does not apply to marketing communications whose principal function is to promote the welfare of, or to prevent harm to, under-18s, provided any sexual portrayal or representation is not excessive.
New BCAP Code rule to replace rule 5.5:
4.13 Advertisements must not portray or represent anyone who is, or seems to be, under 18 in a sexual way. However, this rule does not apply to advertisements whose principal function is to promote the welfare of, or to prevent harm to, under-18s, provided any sexual portrayal or representation is not excessive.
The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) is an advisory body consisting of a representative from the data protection authority of each of the EU member states, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission. WP29 provides expert advice to member states regarding data protection.
WP29 have released draft guidelines on transparency and consent, two key areas of the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The guidelines, which were published in mid-December, aim to provide further clarity on the core requirements of each area under the GDPR, offering more detailed definitions, plus insights on issues such as the rights of data subjects, exemptions and specific areas of concern.
Both documents are now available to download and are open for comments until 23 January 2018.
Guidelines on transparency Transparency, under the GDPR, is now a ‘fundamental aspect’ of the EU’s fairness principles and is ‘intrinsically linked to accountability’ under the new regulation.
In addition to outlining the meaning of transparency, the guidance produced by the WP29 also provides a thorough overview of:
The full guidance is available here.
Guidelines on Consent
As one of the legal bases to process personal data and one most crucial aspects of the regulation, it’s of paramount importance that companies comply with the new requirements.
The concept of consent has evolved under the GDPR and the new guidelines focus on the main changes and include practical tips to ensure compliance.
The key aspects of the guidelines include:
The full guide is available here.
ISBA is currently working with members of our Data Action Group to submit a response to the guidance. Advertisers can submit their own response directly.
For further details on the GDPR, please contact David Ellison.
We are delighted to announce that Carolyn McCall will deliver the keynote address at ISBA's 2018 Annual Conference.
Recognised as one of Britain's most powerful women, Carolyn built a successful career at the helm of the Guardian, before becoming CEO of the FTSE 100-listed airline easyJet in 2010 and is set to take over as CEO of ITV, another FTSE 100 listed company early next year.
Carolyn joins a stellar line-up of senior industry figures at next year's Conference, which aims to challenge current thinking on accountability and look at how all parties, from brands and agencies to publishers and platforms, can come together to inspire change.
Don't miss your opportunity to Carolyn's first industry address as CEO of ITV.
Find out more about the event and book your place here >
Following the recent criticisms regarding how inappropriate content is controlled, monitored and removed from YouTube, CEO Susan Wojcicki released a statement outlining the actions they are taking to minimise the risks associated with appearing on the platform.
These actions, designed to tackle problematic content and protect advertisers from inappropriate content, include:
Having met with senior representatives from Google last week and having pushed for more proactive vetting of content, tighter monitoring and tougher action, we are encouraged by these measures and look forward to receiving further detail on the plans outlined.
ISBA's position on the issue remains clear. While advertisers need to make their own assessments as to whether advertising on a platform carries a significant risk to their brand reputation, we urge Google to take all required steps possible to ensure advertisers have access to content that is stringently vetted, family friendly and can satisfy reach targets.
We will continue to work with Google on the issue and will update you on any developments in due course.
The full statement from YouTube is available here.
On Tuesday (28.11), ISBA Director General Phil Smith appeared at a House of Lords Select Committee hearing on communications to discuss the advertising industry.
Joined by Katharine Newby Grant, Associate Director, Media – Northern Europe at P&G, the meeting was an opportunity to highlight the advertiser’s perspective on the challenges on a range of issues including digital advertising and the impact of Brexit.
Phil also outlined two key areas of ISBA activity:
The full session is available to watch on Parliament's website.
Today (Friday, 24.11.2017), The Times has published yet another article relating to videos on YouTube promoting inappropriate, extremist or offensive behaviour.
Following the take down of the Toy Freaks and Family Freaks channels earlier this week, the article published this morning makes reference to a number of YouTube videos of young children which have attracted comments from 'hundreds of paedophiles'.
The videos, many of which were uploaded by the children themselves, featured advertising from a number of advertisers, including ISBA members. Many ISBA advertisers have now withdrawn from the channel. By their own admission, YouTube's control and monitoring procedures are inadequate.
We met with Google on Wednesday so they could respond to the concerns we and our members have. They have agreed to meet with a group of our members as early as next week to address the concerns. ISBA is pushing for much more proactive and positive vetting of content before it is deemed suitable for brand advertising and for tighter monitoring and tougher action on inappropriate user comments.
Details of the meeting with Google are being confirmed.
In the meantime, Google have assured us they are working on a number of initiatives to improve content control. Just yesterday, YouTube launched a series of new measures to help protect families and children on the platform. These include:
An in-depth overview of the new policies can be found here.
In addition, we have reissued our Online Brand Safety Guidance.
If you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
CAP has today announced significant changes to how broadband speed claims can be advertised.
The changes, which relate to numerical speed claims in broadband ads, now state that any claims 'should be based on the download speed available to at least 50% of customers at peak time'.
The changes follow a full public consultation and will come into effect from 23 May 2018, replacing current rules allowing advertisements with “up to” speed claims available to at least 10% of customers.
CAP has issued guidance on the key changes to the regulation, which also covers non-numerical speed claims, comparisons and upload speed claims.
The guidance is available to download here.
The changes are also supported by research from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that found 'consumers are likely to be misled by speed claims' under the current rules.
Respondents to the consultation unanimously supported change, with most arguing for median speeds measured at peak time, to be described as “average” or similar in ads, as the recommended basis for speed claims. Most respondents also favoured a single figure over a range and a peak-time measure over a 24-hour measure.
CAP considers that median peak-time download speed is the most meaningful speed measure to customers because:
The full statement from ASA is available here.