Westminster Media Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Regulation of advertising tech in the UK

January 2020

This conference considered the way forward for regulation of the adtech sector and the wider digital advertising industry in the UK.

It followed the publication of the ICO’s updated report on adtech and real-time bidding, as well as its guidance on the use of cookies, and took place in the wider context of the ICO’s programme of industry engagement in this area.

The conference also took place in the context of further regulatory developments, including:

  • The ASA’s strategy for 2019-23, which includes goals on improving the regulation of online advertising;
  • The CMA’s market study into the functioning of the digital advertising market; and
  • The DCMS review into the regulation of digital advertising.

The agenda included discussion on current handling practices of personal and special category data throughout the digital advertising value chain - particularly focusing on data processing and data transfers between organisations that take place as part of the real-time bidding process for online ad placement.

Delegates considered industry practices and their compliance with GDPR stipulations - including in the areas of:

  • The specified lawful bases for data processing;
  • The completion of data protection impact assessments; and
  • The management and tracking of user consent.

In the context of the ICO guidance on cookies, discussion also took place on the placement of non-essential cookies in the absence of explicit user consent, and potential conflicts with Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) requirements.

Discussion also took place on wider regulatory priorities across the digital advertising market - looking at areas where further regulatory intervention may be required.

Those attending considered the processes by which ads are targeted at particular users online - including the utilisation of biometric data and voice-recognition technology, as well as the generation and placement of machine-generated personalised advertising.

They also discussed concerns around content regulation, including the placement of advertising next to illegal or harmful content, ad fraud, and the suitability of ads served to children and vulnerable adults.

Further sessions on the agenda assessed the adtech industry’s response to regulatory concerns.

Discussion focused on developing improved data-handling, and achieving greater and more widespread industry compliance with GDPR and PECR - as well as mitigating the risks of data transfers in the real-time bidding process, and the way forward for developing and promulgating strong industry standards and best practice.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Media Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates