Facebook to implement AdChoices icon on FBX ads to improve transparency

Facebook has agreed to display an industry-standard icon on its ads that are targeted using third-party data about users’ Internet browsing history, according to AdAge.

The blue AdChoices icon, seen right, will be visible when users mouse over an ad that has been served through the Facebook Exchange, the social network’s real-time bidding platform that can serve ads based on third-party cookies instead of Facebook’s own data.

The AdChoices program was created by the Digital Advertising Alliance. The icon is meant to provide transparency and give users ways to opt out of online behavioral advertising. Currently, when users see an FBX ad, they can click “About This Ad” to be taken to the website of the demand side platform that served the ad. The DSP will give users information about how their information was collected and used, as well as the option to opt out of remarketing ads. Moving forward, Facebook will offer the same functionality but include the AdChoices icon to better adhere to industry standards.

Many networks display the icon directly on an ad, instead of when users hover over it, but AdAge says Facebook worked with the staff of the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program to work out an agreement on how it would show the icon.

Although the AdChoices icon likely won’t mean much to the average user, it is important to the advertising industry. Some advertisers won’t buy retargeting ads without it. AdAge says this had been an issue for Vivaki, which includes Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest and Zenith Optimedia.

We haven’t seen the icon live for our accounts, but AdAge says Facebook will begin including it by the end of March.