Transparency and choice go a long way toward making Internet users comfortable with receiving interest-based ads, according to the results of a poll from the Digital Advertising Alliance.
More than 51 percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to click on an online ad that had an icon, like the DAA's blue AdChoices icon, that allowed them to opt out. More than 73 percent of those polled said they would be more comfortable with interest-based ads if they knew about the privacy protections that are part of the DAA's self-regulatory program.
That's good news for brands that use the icon, said Lou Mastria, executive director of the DAA. "Having the protections associated with the icon makes a difference with consumers," he said.
Now in its third year, the DAA has focused more of its resources on educating both the public and policymakers that its self-regulatory program is the preferred approach over government regulation to protecting consumer privacy online. The poll, conducted over week in October with more than 1,000 adults, is the second one Zogby conducted for the DAA this year. The first was released in April.
"We're putting this out to make sure the record is straight about what online advertising does and does not do. There are a lot of headlines out there that have frightened folks. The reality is, [the DAA program] is bound by a strict set of rules," said Mastria. "Our work isn't done, but we're headed in the right direction.
Users are well aware of the trade-offs between advertising and no advertising. By a ratio of five to one, users said their favorite sites were supported by advertising rather than subscription fees. More than 57 percent said they wouldn't visit free sites if they converted to pay models.