Results tagged “Digital Advertising Alliance” from IABlog

The Industry Commits Two Billion Impressions for “Your AdChoices”

The Digital Advertising Alliance and IAB recently urged the industry to come together to support a critical campaign, the DAA’s “Your AdChoices” campaign. I am thrilled to report you have answered this call.


Thus far, two billion impressions have been committed to this pro bono effort aiming to build more trust among Internet users by explaining how online advertising works. Two key partners will help make these impressions possible: ADTECH, which will handle the ad serving, and UM, which will handle media management and optimization. We are extremely thankful that they have donated their time and expertise to help bring this important message to the people.

Donations of inventory have come from numerous IAB members. In particular, I am grateful to Rubicon for donating a heroic 700 million impressions and to 24/7 Media for donating more than 310 million impressions. Other IAB members who have stepped up and given generously include AdGent Digital, Ad Monsters, BlogHer, Business Insider, Buzz Media, Collective Media, Cox Media, Discovery Digital Media, Electronic Arts, Everyday Health Inc., Federated Media, Google, Kelley Blue Book, Microsoft, Netmining, OpenX, Slate, WeatherBug, WhitePages, Yahoo!, and Ziff-Davis.

The “Your AdChoices” consumer education campaign helps reinforce the industry’s commitment to self-regulation by addressing consumer concerns about how their information is being used. Through several fun, informative videos, the campaign explains how people are empowered to control the way they interact with digital advertising. Moreover, it demonstrates how advertising actually enhances digital experiences.

The Digital Advertising Alliance, along with MRM, a McCann Worldgroup company, showed inspiring leadership and creativity in developing this campaign. I’m now excited and encouraged by the outpouring of support from our peers who recognize that the best way to keep our industry free of unwanted regulation is to directly support the needs and concerns of the people who rely on it.

In the wake of last Thursday’s “Do Not Track” announcement from Microsoft, a consumer education campaign like this is more critical than ever. Both the DAA and IAB believe that the best way to provide the most compelling user experiences digitally is to empower them to make their own choices. This campaign shows them how to do just that.

The industry has already shown us that they’re behind this approach. Two years ago, when IAB launched the industry’s first consumer education campaign, “Privacy Matters,” the enthusiastic support of the digital ecosystem supported this pro bono campaign with 500 million impressions. As impressive as this was for the time, the fact that we’ve already quadrupled commitments demonstrates that the digital world is supporting this strategy of educating users and giving them choices. DAA’s “Your AdChoices” campaign comes at an important time for our world, but it also follows a history of support from the digital marketing industry.

Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I said mission accomplished. The numbers of companies who have not donated inventory to support this campaign greatly outnumber those that have. I implore all of us working in this field to make room for this campaign and do everything possible to maximize its impact. Our mission is only complete after we genuinely help every user better understand how advertising positively enhances their digital lives.

To contribute to the campaign, please contact [email protected]. And look for the Your AdChoices campaign on a Web site near you.

About the Author

sp_rothenberg_randall.jpg Randall Rothenberg

Randall Rothenberg is President and Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Advertising Bureau.


Two billion people across the globe—more than a quarter of the world’s population use the Internet. Yet the source of its popularity is also our industry’s Achilles’ heel.

That is why the new public service campaign by the Salt Lake City office of MRM, a McCann Worldgroup company, for the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) is such a breakthrough. The launch of the consumer-facing “Your AdChoices” campaign aims to build more trust among Internet users by explaining how online advertising works. It is the first industry campaign that explains the benefits of online marketing communications, offers solutions for legitimate privacy concerns, directs consumers toward additional resources, and effectively demystifies the Web. More specifically, the campaign explains how interest-based ads give consumers more of the personal experience they want in their digital experience. Quoting one of its videos, the campaign exists “to give you more information and control over targeted advertising.” Through entertaining and compelling videos and banner ads, Your AdChoices will help millions learn how to use the AdChoices (also known as the Advertising Option) Icon. Known by its creators as the “Forward I,” the icon empowers consumers to control how and what advertising reaches them.

Example of Your AdChoices campaign ad

The DAA is the consortium founded by a half-dozen industry associations that are united in support of the open Internet and consumer protection. In addition to the IAB, the alliance includes the Association of National Advertisers, the 4As, the Direct Marketing Association, the American Advertising Federation, and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The icon and the self-regulatory mechanism of which it is a part have been adopted by the IAB as part of our IAB Code of Conduct for members. That means if you belong to the IAB—as 500 of the most significant digital companies in the U.S. do—you must be part of this self-regulatory program.

The “Forward I” icon sits visibly in the corner of all digital ads that employ so-called behavioral data to fine-tune their delivery to the most interested consumers. When clicked, the icon takes consumers to the DAA website, where they can learn more about how targeted advertising enhances their online experiences, and how they can manage their own privacy preferences. It is already served voluntarily by marketers, publishers, and ad networks billions of times each week. But there has never been a major push to explain how to consumers how to proactively make their advertising and other content more relevant to their needs and interests. This MRM campaign-which soon will blanket digital mediais the first major advertising effort to promote interest-based advertising to consumers, and the first since the IAB’s own 2009 campaign to demonstrate the industry’s spirited dedication to self-regulation. By educating the people who see the Internet as an integral part of their lives, this campaign amplifies what they love about the web (exciting, personalized content), and protects them from what they fear (unwanted messages and breaches of privacy).

The IAB’s “Privacy Matters” campaign two years ago inaugurated the effort to explain our industry to the public. Thirty-two online publishers and ad networks committed more than 600 million impressions to the campaign, fueled by creative from the digital agency Schematic, media planning from Group M’s Mediaedge:cia, and ad serving from Atlas. Through “Privacy Matters,” we helped lay the foundation for building a trusting relationship between the interactive advertising industry and digital media users. We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to step up our game, by collaborating with our cousins in the trade association world to support the rollout of the new campaign, so we can explain to millions why and how we are using information to enhance their digital lives.

Your AdChoices takes a fresh approach to the issue of privacy. The message here is “let the right ad find you,” and promises that you can manage the kinds of ads that will reach you. In short, you can see more ads for products and services you might care about. In a playful style, the banners show a man dressed as a banner ad on the street, showing how close you are to that delivery of Thai food you so desperately crave.

The videos, using a friendly, stylized touch, explain what interest-based advertising is. In three short, easy-to-follow videos, you can quickly understand how advertisers are using anonymous browsing history to develop machine-driven ad experiences that are more customized to your interests than the mass advertising that has characterized the media for more than 200 years. The campaign also goes deeper, giving you help on managing your preferences and data.


By helping educate consumers, we are also helping keep the digital advertising industry free of unnecessary regulation. Too often, we’ve seen legislators and regulators recommend overly broad and sometimes technologically unfeasible solutions that could irreparably damage the infrastructure of the Internet and constrain user choice. For digital advertising to continue to flourish, we need to make sure that we are responsible enough to set our own agenda. That means ensuring the industry has the freedom to dazzle its users, but it also means making sure that those users who fuel our industry feel empowered and protected.

It’s up to us to protect the industry for those who shape it, and for those whose lives have come to depend on it.

About the Author

Randall Rothenberg

Randall Rothenberg is President and Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Advertising Bureau.


Earlier this summer, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) confirmed the names of the first 100 companies participating in the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA). These cross-industry companies reflect the biggest brands, publishers, and ad networks in our ecosystem. Last November, the DAA significantly expanded the scope of the self-regulation program beyond online behavioral advertising (OBA) to establish a clear framework to govern the collection and usage of data which includes a consumer choice mechanism for managing data collection practices.

Nutrition_Label.pngAll of these self-regulatory actions—implemented widely across the industry—are further proof that we continue to respond responsibly to privacy concerns with incremental and critical enhancements that improve consumer protection, choice, and control in online advertising.

Yet, there remain gaps in adoption and implementation, mostly due to lingering confusion about when the advertising option icon should be included on an ad and the responsibility of each party involved in the buying, selling, and delivery of that ad.

One of the OBA principles state that enhanced notice (via the icon that is often accompanied by the language Interest-Based Ads or AdChoices) must be served on or close to the ad when the ad is either behaviorally targeted or if data is being collected that could be used for future behavioral targeting. The responsibility to uphold this principle applies to every one of the parties involved in delivery of that ad: the advertiser, the agency ad server, the publisher ad server, and any ad network, exchange, DSP, or SSP. It is safe to assume that every single one of these parties involved in delivering a campaign captures a cookie, an IP address, and a variety of other data points that could be used for future behavioral targeting. As such, it’s imperative that any likelihood of data being collected and used, whether before or after an ad is delivered, is clearly communicated to the consumer.

So let’s be CLEAR*: We should expect to see an advertising option icon on almost every ad, even if that ad is not behaviorally targeted.

What about instances where there is absolutely no data being used or collected? Allowing for some notable exceptions (discussed in more detail below) shouldn’t that be communicated to the consumer as well?

Consider the USDA’s food label for a moment: As a consumer concerned about my health, I review labels to determine how many calories I am consuming. If you look at the USDA label on some diet soft drinks, you will see nothing but zeros because they have 0 sugar, 0 sodium, 0 fat, and therefore, 0 calories. So, why do they put the label on the can if there is nothing to report? The reason is that the presence of a “0” on the label provides useful information for the consumer. The absence of the label represents, well, zero information. In fact, I would be very suspicious of any beverage that had no USDA label. It’s this very suspicion that is pervasive among consumers in regards to online advertising.

For this same reason, it’s not enough to include the advertising option icon only when targeting is being used or cookies are being dropped. The ubiquitous presence of the advertising option icon will reassure consumers that, with one click, they can find the information they need about that ad and the industry players who served it, even if the message is, “This ad was not targeted.”

As Evidon has pointed out to the industry, it should be just as simple as reading the USDA Nutritional label: Click on the advertising option icon and instantly know:

  • Who served the ad
  • If the ad was served using behavioral targeting
  • If the ad is collecting data for future usage
  • Where to go for more information about the industry




There will be some exceptions to this general rule, most notably, pharmaceutical ads and certain rich media and video formats, where the industry is still navigating implementation challenges. It is also true that the OBA principles don’t specifically mandate the omnipresence of the advertising option icon, but if we can make it easier and clearer for the consumer to understand the choices they have and make a decision, we all win: consumer, publisher, and advertiser.

In order to reach that winner’s circle, we all have to pitch in, not just the final party who serves the ad. Advertisers need to plan for the advertising option icon and think about how its presence (and placement!) will impact their overall creative and media plan strategy, as well as their own websites. Publishers and ad networks need to continue to be transparent with and respectful of consumer data. And we all must accept the ubiquitous-ness of the icon on every ad.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post in which we’ll highlight some tactical plans for delivering an easier and clearer choice—and decision—mechanism for consumers.

* CLEAR = Control Links for Education and Advertising Responsibly

About the Author

sp_sullivan_steve.jpgSteve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan is VP of Advertising Technology at the IAB. You can follow him on Twitter @stevesullivan32.