Speaking this morning at ISBA's annual conference, Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, welcomed the IAB's new code and urged ISPs to get behind it.
"Targeted advertising has much potential, and done sensibly and with consent from the user could create huge value for advertisers and ISPs," Richards said. There was "plenty of good evidence that consumers are more attracted to advertising that is more tailored to their preferences" but the "adverse publicity" around Phorm's trails last year was "unfortunate," Richards added.
He welcomed self-regulation "to bring confidence to this area" and stressed that Ofcom was "doing its best to ensure progress" in encouraging ISPs to sign up to the code.
Also speaking at the ISBA conference, IAB chairman Richard Eyre described behavioural targeting as "a game changer for advertisers ... but it is easier to attack than defend".
Serving more interesting ads to internet users through behavioural targeting "is not an infringement of my [consumer] rights". The internet advertising industry must "find an approach that won't get bombed out by privacy zealots ...and get the rules sorted," Eyre said.
"Every media company here earns online revenues," Eyre added. "We must now deliver self regulation [because] Andy Burnham [Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport] will want to slap statutory regulation on the internet."