Home AdExchanger Talks Regulatory Scrutiny And The Intricacies Of Ad Law With A 30-Year FTC Veteran

Regulatory Scrutiny And The Intricacies Of Ad Law With A 30-Year FTC Veteran

Mary Engle, EVP of policy, BBB National Programs

The word “surveillance” doesn’t really have any positive connotations. You don’t surveil someone unless you’re being sneaky.

“The term sounds pejorative,” says Mary Engle, EVP of policy at BBB National Programs, on this week’s episode of AdExchanger Talks.

Engle joined BBB National Programs, a nonprofit umbrella organization for ad industry self-regulatory groups, in early 2020 after 30 years at the FTC, including more than two decades as associate director for advertising practices.

Earlier this year, the FTC announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to discuss the potential need for new rules governing what the commission refers to as “commercial surveillance” and lax data security practices.

The period for public feedback on the ANPR closed in late November. The FTC’s staff is now presumably up to its eyeballs sifting through the comments.

Although the online ad industry laments the term “commercial surveillance,” it’s already worked its way into the lexicon and the public consciousness.

The FTC’s word choice in naming its ANPR is telling. In this context, use of the word surveillance implies an element of consumer harm, which is under the FTC’s purview.

“I don’t think that you would use that term if you thought the practice was beneficial,” Engle says.

In the past, although the FTC had concerns about tracking and interest-based advertising, it also recognized the need to weigh the harms and the benefits of data-driven advertising.

“It kind of sounds like [the FTC] prejudged the issue,” Engle says, “and I guess I’d be a little concerned about that.”

Also in this episode: Ad disclosures in the metaverse, Megan Thee Stallion’s brush with advertising law, Engle’s take on the FTC’s case against Kochava, avoiding greenwashing, defining “puffery” and a very cute Pomeranian named Coco who happens to have his very own Instagram account.

For more articles featuring Mary Engle, click here.

Must Read

shopping cart

Moloco Invests In Its Competitor Topsort As The Retail Media Stakes Go Up

Topsort can lean into Moloco’s algorithmic personalization, while Moloco benefits from Topsort’s footprint with local retailers in the US and in Latin America.

CDP BlueConic Acquires First-Party Data Collection Startup Jebbit

On Wednesday, customer data platform BlueConic bought Jebbit, which creates quizzes, surveys and other interactive online plugs for collecting data from customers.

Comic: The Showdown (Google vs. DOJ)

The DOJ’s Witness List For The Google Antitrust Trial Is A Who’s Who Of Advertising

The DOJ published the witness list for its upcoming antitrust trial against Google, and it reads like the online advertising industry’s answer to the Social Register.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Why Vodafone Is Giving Out Grades For Its Creative

One way to get a handle on your brand creative is to, well, grade your homework, according to Anne Stilling, Vodafone’s global director of brands and media.

Inside The Fall Of Oracle’s Advertising Business

By now, the industry is well aware that Oracle, once the most prominent advertising data seller in market, will shut down its advertising division. What’s behind the ignominious end of Oracle Advertising?

Forget about asking for permission to collect cookies. Google will have to ask for permission to not collect them.

Criteo: The Privacy Sandbox Is NOT Ready Yet, But Could Be If Google Makes Certain Changes Soon

If Google were to shut off third-party cookies today and implement the current version of the Privacy Sandbox, publishers would see their ad revenue on Chrome tank by around 60% on average.