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A mea culpa, and a lesson learned in transparency

Published: November 20, 2013

Author: David Rodnitzky

We pride ourselves on our transparency as an agency. It’s one of the attributes our clients appreciate most: we’re firm about strategies we think will work for them (and won’t work for them); we don’t bury any unpleasant details.

In that vein, I’ll tell you this: we made a mistake on a display campaign. You can read the details on that linked Better Business Bureau report, but I’ll break it down for you: for one of our clients, we did not fully comply with the BBB’s Transparency Principle, which requires that consumers receive real-time enhanced notice when they are served an interest-based ad.
The short of it is that we thought the requirements were being met by our DSP and our DSP thought the requirements were being met by us. We agree strongly with the principles behind them, and as soon as we learned about the issue we made every effort to resolve it. That’s by no means an excuse, and we’re doubly committed to staying on top of BBB (and other) policies going forward so that this doesn’t happen again.
When we were notified of this, we acted swiftly with the help of our DSP to bring all ads into immediate compliance, including the AdChoices Icon on all interest-based ads delivered through the platform. We also reviewed all other interest-based ads (for all clients, and on all platforms) to make sure they were compliant as well. And we immediately began educating clients on how and why to comply with the principle.
We’ve learned our lesson – a couple of them, in fact. First, you can never be too transparent. Second, it’s part of our commitment to our clients and partners to know the landscape of regulations and to make sure we’re always on the right side of the rules.

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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