TRUSTe Study Shows Consumers Appreciate Choices Provided by Online Behavioral Advertisers

Although privacy concerns remain high, TRUSTe’s 2013 survey shows that increased transparency and privacy controls engender more positive feelings about OBA. In addition, consumers want businesses to be clear and forthright about data usage and to give them the ability to make their own privacy choices. Only by doing so can businesses expect to create a strong and lasting foundation to support new technology innovations, such as online tracking.”- Dave Deasy – VP Marketing | TRUSTe blog

As the clouds of ambiguity part and more and more consumers become educated about what online behavioral advertising means for their internet experience, some rays of good news have been emerging.  New statistics show that American Internet users view the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) Self-Regulatory Program for online behavioral advertising in a positive light, and that many consumers have continued to stay opted into online behavioral advertising rather than opt out.

According to a September study by TRUSTe, awareness of the Advertising Options icon and what it signifies has increased to a ratio of one in five US internet users (21%—up from 5% in 2011 and 14% in 2012).  Nearly a quarter of consumers (24%) have clicked on the icon.  This study coincides with the upcoming Powering Trust Roadshow, a first-of-its-kind event sponsored by TRUSTe which seeks to prepare executives to manage and address the complex privacy challenges which have arisen in the world of data-driven marketing.

TRUSTe’s study finds that consumers notice and appreciate it when companies offer them the choice to opt out of online behavioral advertising (OBA), regardless of their actual desire to opt out or not.  It shows that inclusion of the AdOptions icon in a banner ad boosts positive perception of both the concept of online behavioral advertising and attitudes toward the advertiser for about two-in-five internet users.  What’s more, 62% of internet users in the US (up from 55% in 2011) would be inclined to do more business with an advertiser or publisher that gave them the option to opt out of OBA and 53% would be more inclined to click on an ad that contains the option to opt out of OBA.

Why?  Because consumers like choice, and people are more likely to do business with a company that offers them choices.  And there is nobody out there offering more choices to consumers than data-driven marketers!  Whether consumers choose to see targeted ads relevant to their interests and needs, or prefer to opt out and be surprised at whatever ads show up on their screens, it’s data-driven marketers who are offering those choices and working hard to give consumers their preferred experiences online. 

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