The Public Disclosure Commission is kicking off a series of public conversations about how to improve digital political advertising disclosure at its Aug. 26 meeting.
The meeting comes as the Commission is taking a look at the rules that govern what providers of political advertising must disclose to the public on request. The rules originate from the 1972 initiative that created the PDC and campaign-finance disclosure in Washington, which established a public right of inspection for "commercial advertisers'" records of political ad buys.
The law applies equally to all providers of political ads — TV stations, printers, newspapers, mailing services, and even billboard companies — but in recent years it has been digital platforms that have attracted the most attention as the biggest players in the market have faced complaints and legal action for not complying fully with the law.
The Commission is revisiting the rules that apply to digital ads in hopes of improving disclosure and facilitating better linkage between campaigns' reports of ad buys and commercial advertiser's information about those purchases.