An Early 2019 Battleground: Based Digital Ad Regulation

Campaign & Elections

In the final weeks of 2018, digital practitioners are fighting for their share of budget from campaigns across the country flush with cash. But the early part of 2019 will mean a new battle—one that may be just as important for their bottom lines.

Recently-enacted laws on digital ad disclosure in places like Maryland and Washington state have caused considerable compliance headaches for digital shops and campaigns this year, driving up legal costs. In 2019, as many as 10 additional states could take action. New legislative sessions begin in January and the expectation is that several states will move quickly in the new year.

Adav Noti, senior director at the Campaign Legal Center, is working with an increasing number of industry professionals to ensure lawmakers in states across the country get industry input. His goal: demonstrate the damage that can be done by ambiguity and offer a reasonable alternative.

“When I hear that compliance costs are out of control, and even Facebook has said publicly they’re currently losing money on every political ad, that incentivizes lawmakers to come up with better ways to do this,” said Noti. “Just saying, ‘this doesn’t work, we don’t like it,’ isn’t a sufficient response. We need to say, ‘this doesn’t work, and here’s a better way.’”  

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