ASA wins 2021 ICAS Thought Leadership Award

We’re delighted to announce that we have won the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) Global Award for Thought Leadership for our collaborative work with our regulatory partners in The Netherlands (SRC) and in France (ARPP) in using Data Science to better regulate ads online.  

The Awards aim to promote best practices amongst self-regulatory organisations (SROs) by celebrating the most successful initiatives worldwide to regulate ads. 

Our win in the Thought Leadership category demonstrates how we are  successfully harnessing new technologies such as avatar monitoring, CCTV-style monitoring for age-restricted ads (as part of our More Impact Online Strategy), and the use of algorithms to identify scam ads.

Since March 2020, we have met regularly with our French and Dutch counterparts to share updates on the tools and algorithms each regulator has developed.  This culminated in a successful collaboration with ARPP at the end of last year.

Our data scientist had developed a machine learning algorithm to detect scam ads online. However, we needed a database of ads to run the model on to test if it could accurately predict whether an ad may or may not be a scam.

The ARPP provided us with an already built database of ads, saving us time and resources in building our own from scratch.

In return, we shared our machine learning model with the ARPP so that it could tackle scam ads on French websites.

The successful partnership went on to inspire the SRC to begin using AI to better regulate ads in The Netherlands.

This is the first Data Science collaboration between SROs that shares learnings, best practices and algorithms with a view to more effectively regulating online ads, and, we hope, will inspire more SROs adopt machine learning tools.

We were also pleased to see that our Scottish Ad Campaign, launched in September 2020 to promote our role in helping to keep all ads ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’, was nominated for the ICAS Global Award for Best Awareness-Raising Initiative.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees for their brilliant entrants.

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