Europe’s online advertising industry releases self-regulation framework

Creativity, Digital & Media, Marketing

IAB Europe released its cross-European self-regulatory Framework for Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA), outlining good practice aimed at enhancing transparency and consumer control.

Romanian companies that were 1st in signing to apply these rules are ArboInteractive, Imedia Plus Group, ActiveSoft, Bursa de Reclama, InformMedia and Sanoma Hearst România.

The OBA self-regulation framework launched officially by IAB Europe together with its partners aims mainly to establish a high level of trust of users in OBA, once with an increased ability for them to manage the usage of the necessary info for OBA to work. As a member of IAB Europe, IAB Romania supports the implementation of OBA self-regulation framework and will continue its meetings with its members directly involved in online advertising (…) to have as soon as possible an as big as possible  representation on national and international level, as European Commission expects from each member state and as assumed by IAB Europe also in our name

Cristian Petriceanu

President IAB Romania

The obligations under the Framework seek to enhance transparency when advertisements are delivered using Third Party OBA (i.e. advertising on websites by other than the web site itself). Consumers will be provided with greater control through a number of new mechanisms: once the companies fully implement their obligations (the latest by June 2012), all OBA based display advertisements will contain an icon that signifies to consumers that OBA is used. When the icon is clicked on, the consumer will be directed to a company site with further information and the possibility to turn off OBA advertisements as well as to the new pan-European website,, that provides further information on OBA in the relevant language as well as a tool to manage data preferences, including turning off OBA with just a few clicks. The major practical achievement of this Framework is that it provides full transparency and control to users without limiting their surfing experience.

The OBA Framework principles provide for:

  • Education for consumers and businesses about OBA in general and the OBA Framework;
  • Transparency about data collection and use practices associated with OBA, providing consumers with clear, meaningful and prominent notice through multiple mechanisms;
  • Consumer control over OBA;
  • Appropriate data security for, and limited retention of, data collected and used for OBA purposes;
  • Limitations on the creation of segments to specifically target children;
  • Limitations on the collection of Sensitive Personal Data collected and used for OBA;
  • Compliance and Enforcement mechanisms to ensure the effectiveness of the OBA Framework, including seal that will be granted to compliant companies, signifies to other businesses that the seal holder adheres to the obligations under the OBA Framework has been checked and was deemed compliant.

Online advertising techniques require the trust of consumers. The OBA Framework will introduce cross-industry self-regulation for behavioural advertising across Europe, backed up by a compliant and enforcement mechanism. This initiative is the culmination of 18 months planning and collaboration with European organisations representing advertisers, agencies, publishers and advertising standards.

Alain Heureux

President IAB Europe

As the obligations are only binding to signatory companies, IAB Europe’s OBA Framework will be complemented by the European Advertising Standards Alliance’s (EASA) Best Practice Recommendations, released today. These recommendations complement the OBA Framework by ensuring that the entire advertising ecosystem adheres to rules that together guarantee that the value chain delivers the objective of enhanced control and consumer choice.