European Commission holds third OBA Roundtable meeting


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Online behavioural advertising (or 'targeted advertising through the placement of cookies online') took centre stage on 18th January as the European Commission hosted the latest meeting of the OBA Roundtable. Following on from previous meetings held in January and March 2011, Robert Madelin, Director General of DG INFSO (Information Society) convened representatives of the online advertising industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders to discuss progress made on the roll-out of the Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) self-regulatory programme, launched in April 2011.

During this meeting attended by the advertising industry coalition (including WFA, IAB Europe, EACA, EPC, EASA, Google, Yahoo, etc), Mr Madelin welcomed progress made and encouraged industry to speed up the roll-out of the programme. He also insisted on the broader importance of the self-regulatory work in the context of efforts to create a dynamic digital market in the EU. He welcomed to the Roundtable the Article 29 Working Party, which published a critical opinion of the OBA SR programme in December 2011 and he suggested that the dialogue between stakeholders be reinforced.

Mr Madelin called for an assessment of the effectiveness of the OBA self-regulatory programme against criteria once it had reached “cruising speed” and had been tested for 6 months, probably by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, the coalition will shortly launch the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), which will act as the central licensing point for the icon across Europe. Once EDAA is operational, businesses will begin implementing the icon. WFA and its partners will issue detailed guidance to advise members on what they need to do.

For more information, please contact Malte at

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