“This is a complex topic with lots of moving parts, and we have always taken, and will continue to take, an active role in all important industry discussions,” said Gabriel Cheng, VP of strategic growth and partnerships at M&C Saatchi Mobile and one of the new AAC members, in an email to AdExchanger.
Cheng made it clear M&C Saatchi Mobile “strongly believes that no individual body or organization has the right to restrict advertising.”
Not every member feels this way. Fran Howarth, a senior analyst at the information security firm Bloor Research, said she’s “not sure why (the Acceptable Ads program) should be so controversial,” considering the poor track record of the online advertising ecosystem balancing user concerns against brand access. “But I’m a very different kind of stakeholder in this.”
While individual committee members may not represent their employers, they are a group of heavy hitters in prominent positions across the industry, said Job Plas, Eyeo’s senior manager of global partnerships. “We were looking for people who could represent their category with authority and are willing to make a change in standard procedures for ads online.”
He expects the committee to meet for the first time in about three months to discusses AAC changes, which the panel will have 90 days to implement.
When the next iteration of the AAC is named, likely one to two years away, stakeholders from the industry categories represented will choose their replacement, thus removing ABP from the equation after its selection of the inaugural committee.
The committee include executives from Rocket Fuel, Dell, Bloor Research, M&C Saatchi Mobile, J. Walter Thompson, UC Web, Condé Nast and the digital rights group Fight for the Future, as well as one user representative who hasn’t been selected yet.