This week, Taboola’s legal team headed to the NAD’s Annual Conference in New York to join the discussion on “Hot Topics & Best Practices in Advertising Law, Claim Substantiation and Self-Regulation.”
The two-day agenda examined new developments in advertising law, reviewed the FTC’s current enforcement priorities, and welcomed lawyers and regulators from more than 150 national brands, media companies, and top law firms.
Taboola’s Shelly Paioff, Deputy General Counsel & Head of US Legal, joined Mary K. Engle, the FTC’s Associate Director for Advertising Practices, and Laura Brett, the NAD’s Assistant Director, for a panel titled “But We Need the Answer Now!”
Moderated by Ronald R. Urbach from Davis & Gilbert LLP, their discussion focused on how real-time marketing raises the expectation for real-time legal answers and immediate guidance on complex compliance questions.
This has been especially demanding as laws on native advertising and proper disclosures are still developing, but together, the panelists reviewed the FTC’s guidance on native advertising, some recent NAD and FTC cases, and Shelly offered Taboola’s real-world business perspective on establishing industry best practices.
The biggest takeaways from the discussion:
- The growing prevalence of and need to combat “cloakers” (advertisers who want to sidestep consumer protection efforts to run profitable, but deceptive, content that is banned from many networks, like Taboola’s). Shelly outlined Taboola’s top-down compliance approach, which involves company-wide efforts by our product, operations, sales, policy, legal, and network safety teams.
- It has also become increasingly important to create a united front on disclosure compliance. This means that we, as content discovery providers, need to join forces with publishers and regulators to present best-practice disclosures in hopes that others in the market who are less transparent about their practices will be encouraged to follow suit and, together, demonstrate successful industry self-regulation.
As a reminder, at Taboola we have Advertising Guidelines in place. Among these guidelines, we:
- Outline our sponsored content disclosure practices and requirements, as best practices informed by the FTC’s Native Advertising Guidelines and the NAD’s native recommendations
- Require that meaningful branding text accompanies all promoted content in our widgets and accurately reflects the source of the promoted content
- Ensure that our users find appropriate content, not only on our partner publisher pages, but also on any sponsored content links or advertisements that users may subsequently visit
- Prohibit any deceptive advertorial practices
If you see something on our network that isn’t compliant, we urge you to send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can investigate further and ensure that we maintain our network integrity for our users, advertisers, and publishers alike.