IAB appoints Orange man for new regulatory role

LONDON - The UK online advertising industry has moved a step closer towards regulation with the IAB's appointment of Orange man, Nick Stringer, as head of regulatory affairs.

Stringer, Orange's government and public policy manager, will lead the online industry's public affairs in the newly-created role.

Industry voices welcomed the move, especially for areas such advertising to children and alcohol ads, but added that context is important.

"Increasingly the government, and the European Commission in particular, is looking at how the internet is used relating to consumers, and how data is managed" said Wayne Arnold, chairman of IPA Digital and European CEO, Profero.

"This is being seen across advertising as a whole, so it is a natural progression as the internet becomes mainstream."

Stringer will report to IAB chief executive, Guy Phillipson, and is set to play a leading role shaping major legal and regulatory issues facing internet advertising in the UK.

Phillipson said: "Stringer has a wealth of experience and is an essential senior hire for the IAB. With internet advertising now a significant and growing medium, it is understandably on the radar of Government departments and Ofcom.

"The online industry needs a regulatory figurehead who can operate at the highest level with media owners, regulators and Government to promote the importance of online advertising within the self regulatory system."

Starting on 7 April, Stringer will liaise directly with the government, regulators and industry bodies - including the Advertising Standards Authority, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Ofcom.

He will promote the internet's importance within the media landscape and clarify the role of the industry and marketers in ensuring it remains a robust and responsible medium.

Stringer will lobby for freedom to advertise online, represent the IAB on industry councils - such as the Advertising Association - and oversee essential IAB codes and guidelines.

Other responsibilities will include managing and chairing the newly-launched IAB Regulatory Affairs Council (RAC), whose members include portals, search engines, major online publishers and social networks. The RAC will also represent IAB UK in discussions with IAB Europe and IAB USA on EU and international initiatives.

At Orange, Stringer managed UK public affairs and advised senior management on relevant political, legislative and regulatory issues. He lobbied on key public policy issues and helped build strong industry and Government relationships.