DAAC introduces new verification system for political advertising

With the federal election officially underway, the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC) has formally unveiled its new verification platform for political advertisers.

First announced in July, the program helps political advertisers ensure the ads they run during the election are transparent and in compliance with recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act.

The DAAC has also announced the program supports both mobile and video ads in various sizes, while custom-built native ad units can be created in association with the DAAC and its compliance partner, Forward Logic.

Advertisers who participate in the Political Ads Program will be able to place the DAAC’s purple triangle icon alongside the word-mark “Political ad disclosure/Mention Publicité politique” at the top of their ad. When people hover their mouse over an ad displaying the icon, information required under the Elections Act will appear in an overlay box.

“Our Political Ads Program makes it easy for advertisers to inform online users about who has placed the ad, while preserving maximum space for the advertiser’s message and images,” said Ron Lund, chair of the board at DAAC. “Using tags generated by DAAC’s notice platform, publishers can deal efficiently with time-sensitive election ads.”

“We hope to see adoption of this program to ensure a reliable, streamlined opportunity for consumers to identify registered political ads,” said Jill Briggs, head of policy and regulatory affairs at the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada).

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Parliament and Elections Canada introduced new registry requirements for political ads  on digital platforms in June, requiring them to “keep and publish a digital registry of all regulated ads and the name of the person who authorized the ad.” The rules also require the registry to be “easily accessible to the public via a visible link on the platform.”

The amendments come amid growing concerns over foreign governments and other bad actors actively working to undermine elections.

A digital ad registry is required for any primarily English language platform with three million unique visitors in Canada each month; for any primarily French platform with one million unique visitors and 100,000 unique visitors a month for any platforms whose primary language is not English or French.

The program also verifies advertisers, ensuring that they are Canadian and registered with Elections Canada. Any political party or third-party advertiser registered with Elections Canada can participate.

The DAAC has also introduced a series of free webinars about the Political Ads Program. The webinars are open to political parties, third party organizations and candidates.

“DAAC’s program brings transparency to consumers so that they can better evaluate the political ads they are seeing,” said Sara Clodman, vice president of public affairs and thought leadership at the CMA, in a release. “The purple logo will be particularly helpful on tablets and smartphones, where ad space is most limited.”





Chris Powell