IAB kicks off AdChoices awareness campaign

The IAB is to launch an online ad campaign in an effort to boost consumer awareness of how brands use behavioural targeting to serve them online advertising and make the “AdChoices” logo as memorable as the recycling icon.


The creative for the online campaign, dubbed “unzipped”, features zips with statements such as “Find out what goes on behind the ads you see online”, which can be opened to reveal the AdChoices icon – the logo that has been appearing on behaviourally-targeted, or “interest-based”, ads since the EU ePrivacy Directive came into force last year.

The interactive ads, designed by Mediacom, will go live from today (13 June) and are set to run for six-to-ten weeks according to Nick Stringer, IAB head of regulatory affairs.

“The campaign is geared towards making the AdChoices logo as recognisable as more established icons, such as the recycling one,” says Stringer, adding it will reach up to 30 per cent of online Britons*.  

Among those donating free ad inventory to the campaign are Adconion Media, ANy Media, AOL, CBS Interactive, Criteo, Expedia, Exponential, Financial Times, Guardian, Microsoft Advertising, Specific Media, Telegraph Media Group, ValueClick Media and Yahoo! Vevo, AdTech and DG Mediamind are also helping with the campaign.

The IAB will review how the “unzipped campaign”, estimated to be worth £3m according to sources, has affected consumer awareness  using the same methodology.

After its UK launch, the “unzipped” campaign is then set to roll out across Europe, with the further possibility of it extending to other media types, such as print or TV.

However, Stringer adds this is not confirmed. “It’s not definite we’ll take it offline… we’ll have to see,” he adds. “We’ll take it from there and review what we’re doing.”      

Brands are coming under increasing scrutiny over how they target ads online using behavioural targeting, with all online ads served using the technology required to carry the AdChoices logo since last year with the arrival of the EU ePrivacy Directive.

Since then, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has taken behaviourally targeted ads into its remit, while European regulators continue to mull potential further limitations on how to serve consumers with ads using this data.  

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