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Advertisers – do behave! Only 1% of web users turn off behavioural ads

Apr 11, 2011
While advertisers originally forecasted that the introduction of anti-tracking browser features would put a dent in their ability to profile and target consumers, new research from the IAB shows they needn't have worried, as less than 1 per cent of users have chosen to opt out of targeted behavioural ads over the last year. 

According to Brand Republic, IAB legal expert Mike Zanies revealed that only 1 per cent of the US's web-using public opted out of behavioural advertising following a rollout of a web page allowing users to decline interest based advertising from big-name companies. 

Speaking at the International Advertising Association's Digital Download event in London, Zaines explained that the IAB had trialled adding an Advertising Options icon to display adverts. 

Over one year, Zaines reported, 25 per cent of viewers - or just 1 per cent of American web users - chose to click on the icon and follow through to a designated web page where they could disable adverts streamed to their browser.

What's more, Zaines explained that allowing users to turn off ads - from select retailers or as a whole - has built consumer confidence while also helping to identify and target receptive consumers. 

This has been seen especially in Google's content network, as Zaines revealed that for every one Google user who turned off behavioural ads, four more indicated the firms they were interested in receiving targeted material from. 

"We've run campaigns with this in-ad notice and we've found that actually the opt-out rate stays pretty small - less than 1 per cent," Zaines said, before adding: "Consumers see this [icon] and they read the notice. It actually builds confidence in the brand, the advertiser but also the publisher site. It's becoming a landmark."

Zaines added that widespread adoption of the opt-out icon could help advertisers to better placate privacy groups on both sides of the pond campaigning for legislation that would see online advertising come under government control rather than continue to self regulate.

IAB Europe is expected to trial a similar framework soon. 


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