Group Proposes Industry Behavioral Standard
Kid Ad Law
April 25, 2008
An industry group has proposed new standards that would prohibit its members from using behavioral marketing practices to target children under the age of 13. The recommendation by the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) is part of a draft update to its "Self-Regulatory Code of Conduct for Behavioral Advertising," which is open for comment.
The NAI represents online companies engaged in behavioral advertising-the practice of tracking consumers' online activities for the purpose of delivering relevant content. Members include Doubleclick (recently acquired by Google), Advertising.com and Tacoda (AOL companies), Atlas (owned by Microsoft) and BlueLithium (a subsidiary of Yahoo!).
The update to the NAI's principles follows a call by the Federal Trade Commission for the industry to self-regulate behavioral advertising practices. In December, the FTC issues proposed principles aimed at guiding such self-regulation. The NAI responded to the FTC's proposed principles in April by stating that it had released its own updated Code.
That updated Code includes a prohibition against creating behavioral advertising segments specifically targeting children under the age of 13.
"The NAI has suggested this prospective provision based in part on the inability of such children to provide consent to third-party behavioral advertising," the organization stated.
The recommendation by the NAI closely mirrors a call by children's advocacy groups to protect children from online tracking. (See related summary, "Groups Ask FTC...")
Read about the NAI's proposal at networkadvertising.org.