Online Advertising Ethics: The Need for Sound Policies and Regulation

Part of the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) discussion during the 2020 Annual Leadership Meeting is the call for sound regulation policies amid the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act. When you come to think of it, advertising, like any other industry, should be heavily regulated. In the absence of regulation, there can be abuse and misuse of relevant data. Whilst in the pursuit of ad revenue, it will not be surprising to see ethics being cast aside. Regulation is in place to protect not only industry players, but also the consumers.


Advertising Control: What Is It All About?

These recent regulations are in place because of the abuse in the use of consumer data. Consumers are now fighting back to regain their rights. For years, there has been contention on ad regulation. Some would argue that democracy allows for every product to have the right to advertisements. They associate free speech to being permitted to give “voice” to their brands. The other end of the spectrum, however, would argue that not all products and services are created equal – some products are neutral while some can have safety and health issues and therefore, must not be given the same advertising rights.

Another factor that further complicates this issue on ad regulation is the consumer’s need for personalized and relevant advertisements without compromising their personal information. In the age of growing incidence of data breaches, no one can blame if consumers choose to be discreet about their personally identifiable information (PII). After all, it’s for their own protection.

Given all these, there must be a clear demarcation that separates which data should be publicized and kept private. At this point, however, it is difficult to achieve that simply because no one knows who should hold the authority over drawing this line.

You cannot let consumers take charge because it would be a tedious process to account for each consumer’s opinion about a product. Meanwhile, advertisers are out of the question, too, because they have vested interests. The next best thing is to hand over the authority to governments. Still, there are fears about how governments can use all these data to watch every person’s move.

Given all of the above, ad regulation may seem too far-fetched. However, it is not at all impossible. If you draw from the positive experiences of international organizations, control of advertising is doable. It needs a concerted effort from everyone involved.


Notable Advertising Regulations to Emulate

In China, the use of the Internet is heavily regulated. But, they are making good progress in terms of their advertisements. For one, marketers cannot use terminologies as the “best,” “most,” or other similar keywords to promote products. Those who violate can face hefty fines.

Similarly, Switzerland’s ad regulation is also worth noting. Despite the limited ad space, Swiss law manages to place ad regulations, particularly in the promotion of prescription drugs in any public media. Moreover, marketing for health-related products is only possible if it only speaks the truth about its nutritional claims.


Final Thoughts

Advertising is a fascinating world. With the latest advancements in technology, marketers have the best tools available for them. Some stellar examples in in-app advertising, particularly rewarded videos, have shown us that marketers can personalize user experience without exploiting data that may turn away consumers. Therefore, there should be no fear of ad regulations. Instead, it should be embraced as we enter a new era of ethical advertisements and responsible branding.



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Pranav Kataria

Associate Director, Programmatic Strategy

As the Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy, Pranav brings over 8 years of experience in the adtech industry working with Publishers, DSPs, Agencies, and Advertisers from global regions to improve their monetization, performance, and strategies. With great understanding of the mobile market, his expertise lies in analytics, account management, strategy, and ad sales. With this refined skill set, he brings customer-centric mindfulness that enables growth and innovation.

Before joining AlgoriX, his keen business perspective and skills have earned him opportunities to work across different organizations and verticals in the advertising ecosystem; be it improving the processes, sales enablement, and managing client relationships.

Ray Xia

VP, AlgoriX Partner Studio

Ray Xia was a mainstay at Tencent Games, having worked at the company for 13 years. There, he took on various roles including backend developer, application development manager, and game producer. During this time, he actively participated in the development and operation of popular titles such as QQ Pet, QQ Pet Fight, and games involving the Naruto franchise. To date, these games have over 10 million daily active users. Through this rich well of experience he has accumulated covering all aspects of game development and operation, he aims to spearhead more creative endeavors via AlgoriX Studios.

Naomi Li

VP, Research and Development

Naomi Li has a decade’s worth of experience in research and development for the adtech industry. She started her career at Baidu where she was mainly responsible for the Automation Testing of the Baidu Fengchao Ad Search Engine. There, she focused on the fields of overlapping experiment infrastructure, rich media ads rendering, and ad antispam technology. Moreover, as part of Baidu’s International Group, she led the research and development of various monetization and advertising mechanisms for Baidu’s overseas app store, SDK, and AdNetwork. At present, she is responsible for the overall direction of AlgoriX’s R&D efforts, which include product planning, technical architecture design, and talent training.

Frederic Liow

SVP, Revenue Growth & Strategy

A veteran in the digital advertising industry, he began his career during the early days of the dotcom era. To date, his passion for the digital industry is still as strong as ever (and getting even stronger). Spanning twenty years of his digital career, he has worked for leading companies like Nielsen, MRM McCann, Omnicom Media Group, Millward Brown and Smaato. Currently, Frederic is the revenue officer for AlgoriX spearheading global revenue growth, business expansion and strategic partnerships. He has set up and built AlgoriX’s global mobile ad exchange, hiring talents, establishing best practices, and injecting global industry standards into the company. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of Demand for Smaato, overseeing the demand business and operations in APAC. Frederic is currently based in our Singapore HQ.

Xinxiao Guo

Chief Operation Officer

Equipped with a decade’s worth of experience in global product operation as well as a deep understanding of emerging markets, Xinxiao brings her expertise in mobile traffic monetization and programmatic advertising to the table. Before her role at AlgoriX, she was a core member of iQIYI’s research and development unit. After that, she moved to Baidu as Head of Programmatic Advertising.

At present, she is AlgoriX’s co-founder and Chief Operation Officer. Together with the team, she aims to help game developers effectively reach global audiences and implement better monetization strategies.

Ruiz Xie

Chief Executive Officer

With nearly 20 years of business experience, Ruiz Xie founded AlgoriX with the vision of creating a global advertising platform and entertainment ecosystem. Through AlgoriX’s services, he aims to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem by providing customized solutions that meet the needs of businesses at every stage. At the same time, through AlgoriX Studios and its third-party partner studios, the company is currently bringing to life a greater goal of providing a comprehensive entertainment platform for people worldwide, which covers games, IP, comics, movies, and more. At present, he leads nearly a hundred employees with concrete plans to expand the company by establishing more offices worldwide.

Before founding AlgoriX, Ruiz Xie joined CoreMail in 2002. There, he created the first Ajax version of the mailbox in China for NetEase, which was the largest Internet company in China at the time. After that, he joined Tencent in 2005 and contributed to the creation of Tencent Games while also building a large scale distributed storage system. In 2013, he moved to Baidu where he took part in developing Baidu International’s overall architecture and search advertising system. During his tenure, he was also the Chairman of the Baidu Global Technical Committee and Baidu’s chief architect.