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The Big Story: Data Clean Rooms And Misleading Claims

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By now, you’ve likely heard the term “data clean room.” In fact, you’re probably sick of it.

But data clean rooms, like the goings-on within regulatory and self-regulatory organizations, remain largely unknown, if not downright misunderstood, by many in the industry.

Which is why this week we break down the latest clean room news, including the IAB Tech Lab’s plan to release much-needed standards for the category. Some clean rooms are attached to walled gardens while others focus on third-party integration and collaboration. Some allow only ad measurement and analytics and others dish out audiences for ad targeting.

In other words, this is a tech category in desperate need of standardization, says Managing Editor Allison Schiff, who covered the IAB Tech Lab’s clean room plans this week.

“There are so many of them, and how do they work together?” Schiff says. “Because you’ll have a publisher working with one, an advertiser working with another, and then my brain goes all fuzzy after that.”

We also discuss the National Advertising Division (NAD), a self-regulatory group that handles truth-in-advertising cases that need a legal eye but don’t necessarily merit the attention of the FTC.

In one recent case, the NAD recommended that Bodyarmor, a sports drink brank owned by Coca-Cola, pull a social video ad featuring its spokesperson, NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield. The ad included a barf-face emoji that appeared on screen following a blind taste test during which Mayfield spat out Gatorade in disgust. (Pepsi-owned Gatorade did not take kindly to the allusion).

Also this episode: Why the NAD can only recommend behavior changes, not issue legal orders like the FTC – why businesses heed its recommendations rather than end up on the FTC’s radar – and the ad industry’s love of using cute-sounding terms (PETs and PII, anyone?) that stand up to no scrutiny whatsoever.

 

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