2. Lifting the Veil Off Political Ads
The digital space has exploded over the past decade as the new go-to channel for advertising, thanks to its ability to target audiences in a way that traditional TV, radio, and OOH never could. Look no further than the recent trends in political advertising spends, to see how powerful digital influence has become. But, recent revelations about collusion, foreign manipulation, and data breaches have resulted in regulations that crack down on digital political advertising and demand more transparency. This comes at a time where heated political issues dominate the media, as well as social media – where many operatives have leveraged loopholes for unverified content, to boost political campaigns, stoke racial unrest, deepen divides, and prey on the base fears of core constituencies. Promoted content for political propaganda has saturated social media newsfeeds over the past few election cycles, and now online companies are trying to do something about it. Specifically, Google is leading the way by requiring anyone purchasing a political ad, to have documents proving that they are a U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Additionally, the company will release a Transparency Report that will document who is buying election-related ads and how much money is being spent. Google will also be requiring political ads to have full disclosure as to who is paying for it. If implemented and fully enforced, this could drive changes in other ad platforms and provide much-needed transparency, in a time where truth and transparency are in short supply.