TwinRed responds to the Digital Service Act by introducing changes to the platform.

TwinRed responds to the Digital Service Act by introducing changes to the platform.

A major overhaul of digital advertising in the European Union (EU) is taking place, and we’re in the middle of it. Specifically, the EU Commission strives to ensure user privacy and create an open and fair online environment.

Having Europe as a key GEO zone, TwinRed is rolling out some new updates to comply with the directive.

Learn what the Digital Service Act is, which countries fall under the regulation, how TwinRed ensures ad transparency, which ad formats are supported, and what you should do to meet the updated requirements.


What the Digital Service Act (DSA) is

Approved and enacted on October 19, 2022, the Digital Services Act (DSA) governs various online platforms like marketplaces, social networks, content-sharing platforms, app stores, and online travel & accommodation platforms to prevent illegal activities and the spread of false information. It aims to ensure user safety, protect fundamental rights, and maintain a fair online environment. Essentially, it gives the user the full scope of information in regard to the ads that they are seeing.

To comply with the DSA, we’ll label all ads shown in EU territories. These labels will provide users with information about why they’re seeing the ad, along with details about the advertiser (AdSupply and TwinRed) and how to contact them.


To comply with the DSA, we'll label all ads shown in EU territories

How TwinRed ensures compliance

All the necessary info is packed in a new “Ads brought to you by” page with company branding on EU-displayed ads.


TwinRed "Ads brought to you by" page example


An “ℹ️” label will be placed in the top left corner of the ads, leading users to the “Ads brought to you by” page when clicked. This applies to various ad unit types, including Banner, Floating Banner, In-Feed, In-Page Push, Interstitial, and Before You Go.


An “i” label will be placed in the top left corner of the ads


All the ads run for the EU will have such flow turned on automatically. You can also enable this option for non-European residents. Go to your admin settings and turn on the “Always Show Ad Transparency Icon”. By default, this setting is off. This doesn’t affect European users, who will always see the label.


Admin Publisher Site Details Page


Ad label display flow

There are three scenarios in total how the transparency icon is handled:

  • If your ad is run in a European country, the icon WILL be displayed, which leads to the “Ads brought to you by” page WITH the advertiser’s name
  • If your ad is run for a non-European country, you can decide whether you want the icon to always appear or not:
    • If you select always, then the icon WILL be displayed, leading to the “Ads brought to you by” page WITHOUT the advertiser’s name
    • If not, then the icon WILL NOT show up


Ad label display flow by TwinRed


Compliance concerns dynamic ads too

Everything said above applies to Link Zones, Banner Iframe Link Zones, and Pre-Roll Videos as well.

In the redirect URL of the link zones, a new parameter was added at the end of the URL, listed as “at=”. “at” stands for Ad Transparency. Publishers can pull this link from the redirect to include with their own implementation, which is the link that should be triggered on any ad transparency label/icon selection for the media shown by the Publisher.


Redirect URL Example


In Pre-Rolls, an “ℹ️” label is added to the top left corner of supported video players, providing ad transparency information based on specifications, starting with VAST 3. If the player supports it, the label will display; otherwise, the player will function as usual without the label.


"I" label in Pre-Rolls


An extra measure to increase compliance

As an extra measure, we’ve added an opt-out feature, allowing users to decline specific ads they find undesirable. If the user opts out from a particular ad, it will be skipped in the subsequent creative rotation.

By default, the opt out feature is off. But you can enable it via admin settings; look for “Allow Media Ad Opt Out”.


Advertisers Settings


Currently, the feature is cookie-based, meaning some browser settings might interfere with it. We’re planning to move to an IP-based approach in the future to remedy the issue.


A word on Popunders

Below is the list of how different browsers handle Popunders. Pay attention, as the block would not be persistent across different browsers or devices and resembles the frequency capping in the system.


The list of how different browsers handle Popunders.


To enable Popunder Ad Unit functionality, a script must be added to the landing page to display the Ad Transparency link. For the time being, the advertisers have to do this manually, but we’re working on automated implementation. Advertisers can use the default ad script provided, which can be customized to match their branding.


How to enable Popunder Ad Unit functionality


Additionally, a media macro called “optout={adReportUrl}” must be added to allow the system to pass unique information about the displayed media. This macro generates a URL containing Ad Transparency Report page data, including served ad information and opt-out details when available.


Advertisers Media details dashboard


Closing thoughts

With all this being said, remember that TwinRed doesn’t provide legal advice on how to comply with the updated regulation. We simply are trying our best to assist you based on our interpretation of the law and remedy for it. Being specific to our company and situation, these solutions might not be applicable for other parties. We do everything we can to ensure all our ad formats remain compliant.

Publishers need to ensure their website players are updated to support VAST 3; and advertisers need to look into their dashboards to fine-tune their ad transparency preferences for non-EU citizens. Don’t worry, no matter the settings, the ads for EU users will always run in a compliance mode.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we’ll tackle any problem of yours. Most of the changes are on our part, so there is not much to worry about. But if you feel even the slightest doubt, contact us so that we resolve the confusion jointly.

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