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Safer Internet Surfing Day

Tuesday 5th February was Safer Internet Day, with the theme being set as "Together for a Better Internet"

The day is run by the UK Safer Internet Centre, which is a partnership between three leading charities:

The three charities share the same mission of making the internet a better place for children and young people.

The aim of the day in 2019 is to focus on how consent works in an online context. Young people are being asked to explore how they ask, give, and receive consent online.
With that in mind, we wanted to help support the initiative and provide a list of dos and don’ts for advertisers when it comes to digital advertising in line with the theme.

The first place to start when it comes to consent online is GDPR.

Following the new regulations that came into place May last year, when personal data is collected this must be done so with the explicit consent of the user. Here are some essential things to do.

Do understand what is meant by consent
Consent must be informed and specific, which means that the user must at least be notified about the data controller’s identity. The user must also be informed of what kind of data will be processed, how it will be used, and the purposes of the data being processed.

They will need to be informed of their right to withdraw consent at any time too.

Specifically, the giving of consent must be unambiguous. This means that it requires a statement or an affirmative act, such as ticking a box which gives consent to cookie tracking when they first land on your site.

Do know who is responsible for notifying users and securing their consent
When data is collected on advertisers’ sites or apps (for remarketing for example) it is the responsibility of the advertiser to notifying the users and to obtain their consent for the collection of data.

Do be aware of the other options you have when it comes to targeting users with display ads
For example when targeting through the Fluid Ads Creative Intelligence Platform, users can choose site types to display ads on, in specific geographic areas, or to certain demographics. This can all be done without going near the identifiable data of users.

The platform also enables users to select audiences that have already used specific search terms as another way of retargeting.

General rules for safeguarding users online
In line with the notion of safeguarding users online, and especially young users, it’s important to run through key dos and don’t when it comes to digital advertising and social media advertising:


  • Use plain and simple language in your ads to explain the nature of your product
  • Always include all the information that relates to the product
  • Make sure your marketing communications are easily identifiable as such. This includes when using influencers for social media advertising that they include relevant hashtags to distinguish their post as an ad rather than an organic post
  • Follow the guidelines of the specific social media platform you’re advertising on
  • Be respectful with your targeting – this means that you shouldn’t target users in a way that suggests you know sensitive information about them
  • Ensure that you are clear about the URL destination in your ads, don’t send people to low-quality landing pages. Make sure you’re transparent as to whether it’s a sign-up page that they’ll be directed to and make sure you use an accurate destination URL
  • Be authentic with your users – this means that you should always be honest and truthful about the product you’re promoting
  • Guarantee that any marketing communications that are addressed to and targeted directly at children, or those that feature children, do not exploit their naivety, loyalty, vulnerability, or lack of experience


  • Include false or misleading messages in your digital display ads – in the UK, the Consumer Protection Act from Unfair Trading Regulations states that misleading consumers include deals for goods that don’t exist or comparisons and claims that are incorrect
  • Use pictures or images of people in your ads if they haven’t consented to their use – the use of celebrity images could imply endorsement of your product. This may not only deceive your customers but can infringe intellectual property legislation.
  • Post pictures of children in your marketing or on your social media profiles without their express consent or that of their parents.
  • Ignore the rules that may apply to your specific sector – this may be the FCA for providers of financial services in the UK or the Gambling Commission for gambling companies or no used cars for UK Automotive.

At Fluid Ads, we work closely with advertisers to ensure their digital display advertising is done so in a way that caters to the needs of their users as well as in line with the needs of their advertising strategy. Our Creative Intelligence Platform provides an end-to-end solution for all digital display activity.

Contact us today of you need advice on your digital display campaigns.

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