January 8, 2020

PDC forum will spotlight growing influence of online political ads in Washington state


Campaign finance experts, political scientists, campaign consultants, digital advertisers and others will gather Jan. 16 in Olympia for a public discussion on digital political advertising and how best to ensure transparency in this rapidly evolving area.

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission is convening the diverse group in a special meeting as it examines the current state of disclosure for political advertising.

“Big Data, Big Dollars: Shining a Light on Digital Political Advertising” is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday Jan. 16 in the Helen Sommers Building, 106 11th Ave. SW, Olympia. The meeting will stream live on TVW.

Panel discussions will focus on how digital advertising can influence elections, the public interest in knowing who’s behind online campaign ads, and how to meet the need for transparency.

A moderated discussion of panelists and Commission members will follow to explore the role of government regulation in making sure the public gets the information it needs.

Speakers include:

Denise Roth Barber, National Institute on Money in Politics

Austin Graham, Campaign Legal Center

Travis Ridout, Washington State University professor and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project

Shannon McGregor, University of Utah assistant professor, Department of Communications

Laura Edelson, Ph.D. candidate, New York University Tandon School of Engineering and co-author of an analysis of online political advertising in the U.S.

Josh Amato, co-founder of Sermo Digital

Erin Schultz, NWP Consulting

Rose Feliciano, Internet Association

Sean J. Wright, Digital Advertising Alliance

Alex Propes, Interactive Advertising Bureau