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Client Story: Advertising Regulations Compliance


In recent years, many governments have responded to concerns about increasing use of vaping products among youth by passing regulations restricting how these products can be advertised. Enforcing these regulations, however, is difficult due to the sheer volume of online advertising. Automated tools are essential to address the challenge of monitoring and evaluating ever-expanding quantities of promotional content on the web and social media.

Our government client sought a customized monitoring tool with the capacity to reduce compliance program costs, improve inspection and auditing processes, and support more effective use of limited staff time. The key features of this tool would be:

  • Identify web and social media advertisements for vaping products
  • Rank advertisements according to reach and/or influence
  • Identify content that may violate advertising regulations

KI Design was engaged to study the feasibility of these goals and to develop a pilot solution demonstrating our capacity to meet them.


Based on our prior experience customizing our KI Data monitoring solution for AI-assisted compliance auditing projects, we designed and configured a pilot version of a custom solution to monitor vaping advertisements. We built two custom features for our client:

  1. A vaping industry feed configured to deliver content from vaping company websites and social media accounts previously documented by our client. The feed would allow compliance inspectors to sort vaping advertisements by date, reach and impact, and to search for specific companies, keywords and geographical locations.
  2. A discovery feature configured to search for vaping advertisements across the web and social media based on keywords, with the ability to filter by date and location.

We also delivered a roadmap for the full development of a monitoring solution meeting our client’s requirements. Our proposed solution would filter vaping advertisements based on regulatory criteria using complex Boolean queries, as well as AI analysis of text and image content. Through these several layers of analysis, our KI Data custom solution could streamline compliance inspections by delivering recent and influential vaping advertisements from our client’s jurisdiction that appeared to violate regulations.


Using our pilot solution, KI Design extracted and delivered a large sample of vaping advertisements from our client’s jurisdiction with data on authors, locations, and influence. We also demonstrated the feasibility of filtering vaping advertisements based on regulatory criteria using queries and AI image analysis. For example, we were able to detect advertisements that appeared to violate regulations by using models or cartoon characters to promote vaping products.

We provided our client with a conceptual design and roadmap for the development of a solution meeting their requirements. At the end of the pilot phase, we also advised them on regulatory and governance issues that would inform their decision about how to proceed with the project.