Ad Industry Moving To Deploy Ad Disclosure Icons

Specific Media lays claim to last week becoming the first Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) member to begin integrating the Advertising Option Icon across all online display ads the ad network distributes.

Clicking on the icon in or around an ad unit lets consumers read disclosure statements regarding data collection and use associated with that advertisement. Consumers also can opt out and stop receiving future behaviorally targeted ads from the company.

Jerrold Son, VP of network operations at Specific Media, says the industry needs to take consumer privacy more seriously or risk ongoing backlash from privacy advocates. This may not become an impediment for Specific Media, but it could stifle industry growth, he says.

Today, the icon is being used for online display ads through traditional computers, but soon consumers will likely see similar ways to regulate data collection on and from platforms such as mobile, IPTV, and pre-roll ads. Set-top boxes collect oodles of data, yet there doesn't seem to be regulations governing the industry. Son says targeting remains at a minimum, if at all, from set-top boxes, but ultimately the goal is to target consumers with individual ads based on viewership and geographic region.

Sharing details about his visit last week to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sons says many companies in the online ad targeting space will move into the set-top box industry.

Son says the industry moved too slow in the beginning, and now it's time to pick up the pace.

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4 comments about "Ad Industry Moving To Deploy Ad Disclosure Icons".
  1. J M from Self , January 12, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.

    This is the same Specific Media who was sued twice recently for mega privacy violations (zombie cookies, flash cookies not respecting opt-outs, etc.), correct? Might be worth mentioning in the article.

  2. Laurie Sullivan from lauriesullivan , January 12, 2011 at 6:40 p.m.

    Thank you JM for doing it for me.

  3. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing , January 13, 2011 at 10:14 a.m.

    Why does every business and industry have an angle. I have been a proponent of the Feds regulating advertising of all sorts because without it we would still be pushing cigarettes to kids. As much as most everyone is ethical there are ones who will say money is more important than reputation. Other wise there would be no spammers, Facebook would have simple opt out privacy controls vs complicated opt in, and we wouldn't have all these tracking cookies etc.

    I myself feel no guilt using Fire Fox with Ad Blocker Plus and No Scripts to disable the ad networks because even though I consume free content I can't trust anyone to not be selling my data. And with No Scripts you can see all the above ground networks (not the tracking ones) and I get amazed at how many their are on many sites. I might be on Yahoo but have 20 other networks connecting to my computer via Yahoo unknown to most people!

  4. Doug Wolfgram from IntelliProtect , January 13, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.

    Does anyone actually think that consumers are going to click on icons on ads and read privacy policies and choose various things. And who is going to track all the click fraud? "Oops, I was trying to click on the disclosure icon and missed and clicked on the ad instead."