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The 'Advertising Option Icon' - Adoption in Europe?

Written by Kathryn | 08-Mar-2011 17:26:00

With the new EU legislation coming into effect on May 25th there has been much debate on the impact it will have on the use of data collected within cookies for use with behavioural and retargeting techniques. For more information on this please see our blog post (New EU legislation and behavioural targeting). Part of the ongoing debate is how the industry can work with the legislation going forward.

One solution which has been promoted by the IAB in the US is to adopt a policy of self-regulation
(IAB: Self Regulation). Among these self regulation practices is an 'Advertising Option Icon' which is to be shown on or near behavioural advertising. The icon provides a clear indication to users that the advertising is covered by the self-regulators program and allows the consumer to click to find out more information on how data has been collected and its use. Additionally, the user is presented with an easy opt-out mechanism.

In the UK, the IAB launched a site (Your Online Choices) designed to educate consumers on how behavioural advertising works along with providing an easy opt-out method for participating ad networks. Some Ad Networks have been proactively adopting a similar approach to the US's Advertising Option Icon such as the Google Display Network and Personalised Retargeting Networks such as Struq, Criteo and MyThingsMedia. Each of these networks allows users to find out more information and opt out of the use of targeting based on cookie data.

IAB's Nick Stringer said "The IAB believes that all businesses that collect and use information for behavioural advertising - including retargeting - should commit to the cross-industry EU Framework to show consumers, policy-makers and the industry itself that they are being transparent, offering greater consumer control and support self-regulation. The alternative to such an approach may threaten the balance between protecting consumer privacy and evolving business models helping to deliver innovative content and services."