Westminster Media Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Next steps for online advertising regulation in the UK - consumer data, online targeting and content standards

November 2020


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will consider the development in the UK’s regulatory framework for online advertising.


The discussion is bringing stakeholders together with key policy officials who are due to attend from the CMA; DCMS; Ofcom; the Cabinet Office; the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; the European Commission; and the Government Legal Department.


The discussion at a glance:


  • regulation and standards:
    • state of play - current regulatory remedies and enforcement powers, and their effectiveness
    • policy and legislation - possible developments affecting the regulatory framework
    • international cooperation - the way forward for strengthening joint working with other territories on regulation and policy
    • the sector’s response - action the industry itself is taking and could consider going forward
  • consumer data:
    • latest developments - data handling, usage and protection across the online advertising value chain, including corporate transfer of personal user data in RTB processes
    • compliance - the extent to which the industry as a whole is meeting its data protection obligations, and whether regulatory action may be required
    • accountability and transparency - collection and use of consumer data in targeting advertising online, with CDEI finding instances of inadequate safeguards
  • consumer protection
    • misleading, inaccurate or harmful online advertising content - options for action, particularly with respect to vulnerable individuals, in the context of the ASA’s project involving monitoring adverts on websites with large underage audiences
    • HFSS - the UK government considering tightening marketing restrictions on high fat, sugar and salt food, including around adverts that may be seen by under-16s on popular websites and online platforms
    • gambling - likely impact of new measures introduced as part of the Betting and Gaming Council’s Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising which looks to prevent under-18s from viewing gambling adverts, and expected to take effect from 1 October, in light of findings from the ASA that gambling advertising breaches are more common than alcohol or tobacco
  • ad placement
    • ad placement - technical approaches and business practice for tackling issues with the context and positioning of marketing messages - including with inappropriate or illegal content
    • responding to concerns - responsible engagement with advertisers, consumers, advocacy groups and special interests, as well as political and policy stakeholders
  • competition
    • distribution and use of market power - options for addressing concerns from the CMA and others about outcomes for consumers, publishers, advertisers and others                                                                                                                                 

Key developments in policy and regulation:


  • Online advertising - call for evidence - DCMS considering responses to consultation on its regulatory review
  • Online platforms and digital advertising market study - the CMA’s report on competition finding barriers to entry and other factors leading to ‘substantial harm for consumers and society as a whole’
  • CDEI Review of online targeting - government considering its response to recommendations from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation aimed at increasing online platform accountability and transparency, following the Centre’s Interim report: Review into bias in algorithmic decision-making
  • Real time bidding (RTB) - the ICO’s ongoing examination of data protection and data handling in the adtech industry relating to the RTB process for online ad placement
  • The Online Harms White Paper - including proposed measures on online advertising as well as regulation of online content more broadly
  • More Impact Online - the ASA’s strategy for the years 2019-2023, including a focus on online advertising including tackling misleading and harmful content and inappropriate ad targeting

The agenda:


  • Online advertising regulation - using technology to tackle content and targeting issues with website claims, online display and social influencer ads
  • What do the public think? - CDEI Review of Online Targeting
  • The use of consumer data in online ad targeting and personalisation - privacy, consent, and data handling
  • Content standards and regulation - assessing current risks to consumers and options going forward
  • Latest from the Review of Online Advertising Regulation - key emerging themes from the call for evidence, and the way forward for policy

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have already been reserved by officials from the Competition and Markets Authority; DCMS; Ofcom; the Cabinet Office; the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; the European Commission; and the Government Legal Department.


Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, together with advertisers, marketers and brands, their suppliers and advisors, publishers, media owners and media buyers, companies from across the digital advertising ecosystem, organisations and individuals representing the views of citizens and consumers, legal and financial professionals; academics and commentators; and reporters from the national and trade media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles