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Better Business Bureau Bites Back at Native AdsConsider yourself warned.

The Better Business Bureau has vowed to begin cracking down on advertisers who fail to provide required privacy disclosures for native ads.

The BBB’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program just issued a compliance warning. And the advertising world is taking notice.

According to the details presented in the compliance warning, companies combining Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) with native ads “must provide consumers with transparency and control, just as they would with any other interest-based ad.”

With that acknowledgment, the organization confirmed that enforcement of the Native Advertising Compliance Warning will begin January 1, 2015.

This compliance warning was issued primarily as a means to ensure that companies “know the rules of the road” when using native ad formats in association with interest-based advertising technologies.

“The Accountability Program’s mission is to build trust in online advertising by helping to ensure that all companies in the ecosystem live up to the advertising industry’s commitment to self-regulation,” says Genie Barton, Director of the Accountability Program. “Compliance warnings, complaints, monitoring and publicly reported enforcement decisions are some of the ways that the Accountability Program fulfills this mission.”

Taking matters one step further, the BBB wants to help publishers avoid getting the same slap on the wrist delivered to  the likes of Best Buy, BuzzFeed, and Yelp for failing to provide enhanced notices with regard to behavioral targeting.

“Accordingly, the Native Advertising Compliance Warning reminds all companies involved in the ad serving chain of a tailored native ad that the OBA Principles require them to provide consumers with notice, including real-time notice about IBA in, around, or the on the same page as the ad, as well as the opportunity to exercise meaningful choice about participating in IBA,” the BBB concludes. “Companies may use the familiar Advertising Option Icon (AdChoices Icon) to alert consumers to the presence of an interest-based ad and the location of an IBA opt out, or they may use a phrase that provides a clear disclosure. The compliance warning also reminds websites that display interest-based native ads to provide enhanced notice when they allow third parties to collect data for IBA.”

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