DV360: new disclosure requirements for political ads with synthetic content

DV360: new disclosure requirements for political ads with synthetic content
new disclosure requirements for political ads with synthetic content

Google this month announced an update to its advertising policies for Display & Video 360 (DV360) specifically regarding election ads. This update focuses on promoting transparency for viewers by requiring disclosures for election ads that utilize synthetic content.

Synthetic content refers to media that has been digitally altered or generated, such as deepfakes or manipulated videos. These techniques can be used to create realistic portrayals of people or events that may not be genuine.

According to Google, viewers should have the information necessary to make informed decisions when encountering election ads that leverage synthetic content. To address this concern, the updated policy requires verified election advertisers in regions with mandatory verification to disclose prominently when their ads use synthetic content that depicts real or realistic-looking people or events in an inauthentic manner.

The disclosure itself must be clear, easy to notice, and positioned effectively within the ad (applicable to image, video, and audio formats). There are some exemptions, however. Ads where synthetic content is used for minor alterations, such as resizing, color correction, or background edits that don't create realistic depictions, are not subject to the disclosure requirement.

Here are some examples of election ad content that would require a clear and conspicuous disclosure according to the updated policy:

  • An ad that uses synthetic content to make it appear as if a candidate is saying or doing something they never did.
  • An ad that alters footage of a real event or creates a realistic portrayal of an event that didn't actually happen, using synthetic content.

Acceptable disclosure language

The specific wording of the disclosure can vary depending on the ad content, but some examples provided by Google include:

  • "This audio was computer generated."
  • "This image does not depict real events."
  • "This video content was synthetically generated."

Enforcement and Account Management

Google has stated that violations of this policy will not result in immediate account suspensions for advertisers. Instead, a warning will be issued at least seven days before any potential account suspension occurs.

Impact on marketers and advertisers

This update to Google's advertising policies for election ads has significant implications for marketers and advertisers working on political campaigns. It's crucial for those involved in election ad creation and distribution to be aware of the new disclosure requirements for synthetic content. By understanding these requirements and implementing clear and conspicuous disclosures within ads, marketers can ensure compliance with Google's policies and promote transparency for viewers encountering election ads.

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