IAB UK Announce The OBA Certificate Of Compliance For BT; Alcatel-Lucent Launch Long-Tail SMS Network

» IAB has announced that seven companies have received the OBA Certificate Of Compliance. The OBA is an initiative designed by IAB UK to promote good practices in online behavioural targeting. It is based on three key criteria: offering users notice about data collection and use; giving the option as to whether to participate; and educating users about behavioural advertising and its benefits.Seven organisations - AOL Advertising, AudienceScience Inc, Crimson Tangerine Ltd, Google UK, Microsoft Advertising, Specific Media UK, Yahoo! SARL - have successfully been audited by the ABCe to confirm their compliance to the principles. The particulars of the principles are not available on the site at this time (note to IAB UK: can you publish the OBA principles in more detail).

If you think you've seen this before, you probably have. This is effectively IASH for behavioural targeting. It's a good idea as it's a pro-active attempt to address the concerns of privacy advocates and legislators. Self-regulation and auditing is great, but I don't think it goes far enough. The industry seriously needs to consider the EU's position on all this. The proposed "cookie" directive is looking to restrict the use of cookie data in online advertising. Some of the proposals include mandatory opt-ins and introducing default privacy settings on all new browsers. I think we need to introduce labeling on all BT-powered advertising in Europe - similar to the US model. Adopting the EPTAB would send a serious message to the EU, and show that the online advertising industry is doing its bit to protect user privacy.

» More activity in the mobile ad market. Alcatel-Lucent has launched a new advertising platform aimed at helping mobile operators monetise their audiences. Optism will be permission based and will provide SMS and MMS marketing to operators using the platform. The company is looking to offer incentives (lower bills, perhaps) to users opting into the service. It seems to me that Alcatel-Lucent is going after the long-tail mobile market here - namely those that don't have a smartphone. The new initiative will look to sell directly into mobile agencies, eager to connect with targeted audiences. Alcatel-Lucent are also intend to build out a display network, aggregating ad inventory from multiple operators. [Reuters]