License 20: Advertiser’s Credential

News stories about political advertising placed by deceptively identified organizations have received a lot of attention in 2017-18. The advertiser’s credential would give viewers/readers a measure of trust by having an idenfied individual take responsibility for the content of the advertisement. As with the Reporter’s Credential, this isn’t really a license but rather a means to establish accountability.

There is precedent for this in the bulk mail regulations of the Universal Postal Union and the PTTs of its member countries. They all require that an identified individual sign a form attesting that the mail pieces do not violate the postal regulations of their destinations. The forms all call for a passport or driver’s license number and specify penalties for which the individual, not the organization, is responsible.