The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to announce an initial report on virtual advertising on Wednesday, according to a draft statement issued by ASEAN Secretary-General Antara Fereydoun.
The ASEan Commission on Internet Governance will review virtual advertising in 2018 and issue its report by October.
It will be the first formal assessment of the issue since virtual advertising was introduced into ASEA’s virtual advertising policy in March 2018, which was based on a survey of companies.
Virtual advertising is an online marketing method in which users pay to post ads on a website or app.
It allows advertisers to make direct payments to a website’s website, while the advertisers get paid in virtual currencies, which can be used to purchase ads.
In some countries, companies pay to place an ad on their website or in an app, but users can also pay to appear on their preferred websites or apps.
“This is a huge opportunity for the internet to be more transparent, which we want to encourage as ASEANS’ online economy becomes increasingly interconnected,” Fereydoun said.
“I think we will see a lot more transparent online advertising, both on a digital and offline level, and also to have greater accountability for the content creators,” she said.
Virtual ads were introduced into virtual advertising policies in March after a decade-long discussion between ASEAP and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
In June 2018, Fereys statement said the ASEANN had “unanimously” endorsed the new virtual advertising standards.
The new virtual ad policy was announced on March 27, 2018.
The draft statement has been approved by the AEA, but not yet published.
The ASEAS Digital Advertising Initiative is the body responsible for drafting the standards.
As of December 2018, the AIA had not released a copy of the final draft of the virtual ad standard.
The issue of digital advertising has come up at ASEANCorations annual meeting since March 2018.
Fereyns statement, however, said the meeting had not been a “battleground” and ASEans leaders were not planning to bring the issue up.
“We are not at this point in time seeking to raise the issue,” Ferens statement said.
“I can assure you that we are open to any dialogue, however it is important to note that our policy remains unchanged and is focused on transparency and accountability in the online world.”
Virtual advertising has been a contentious issue in recent years, with ASE’s Digital Advertising Task Force (DAFT) having issued a number of recommendations to tackle the issue in 2018.
In June 2017, Feren wrote to the heads of ASE countries to warn that the issue of virtual advertising “does not belong to a forum or to the Internet of Things.
It belongs to the web”.”
The digital ad is not a simple matter of an app or website displaying a link to an ad, or a simple page or button on a screen.
The digital ad has to be seen as an ad,” he wrote.”
The ad does not belong in the hands of a single user, or any single vendor.
Its a web-based system.
A person or entity cannot be involved in its production or delivery.”
In September 2018, a study published by the Center for Democracy and Technology found that “virtual advertising” had been a key driver of digital ad spending in countries across the world.
The study said digital advertising was now the third largest driver of online advertising spending in the world after “pay-per-click” and “advertising by the book”.
In May 2019, the Association of Internet Service Providers (ASIP) said that it was considering the creation of a body to regulate virtual advertising.ASIP is the umbrella organisation for the Association for Internet Service Provider (ASP) in Asia Pacific, which includes Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.ASP’s members include telcos, content providers, internet service providers, media platforms, mobile operators, e-commerce operators, and government agencies.
Fereydoudoun, who is also the president of the Association, told Al Jazeera the virtual advertising issue is a key focus for the group.
“Virtual advertising and its growth in ASE was one of the key drivers of ASEAs digital advertising policy,” she told Aljazeera.
“The ASEA is committed to fostering greater transparency and access to information on virtual ad spending.”
The AAE said it will present the draft ASEAM virtual advertising report on Wednesday.