Research Finds DAA Adchoices Icon Increases Favorability Toward Targeted Ads and Awareness has Risen to 42%

Study Also Finds 28% of U.S. Adults Used Ad Blockers, Posing Growing Threat To Publisher Financial Model

San Francisco, May 9, 2016 – According to newly released findings from an online study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of TRUSTe, consumer concern over online tracking for targeted ads has fallen from 65% to 61% over the last year. As consumers increasingly look for ways to take control over online ads, awareness of the AdChoices icon, part of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) has risen to 42% – five points higher than last year (37%). The stakes in the consumer digital experience are high as 28% report they had used ad blocking software in the month prior to the survey.

As consumers become more aware of how they can control the types of ads they see, they are more likely to feel positive about online behavioral advertising in general. Almost 2 in 5 (39%) said the information available through the AdChoices Icon, along with the option of opting out of OBA, would make them feel more positive about the concept of targeted ads. The DAA program covers online, mobile and video ads and was developed in conjunction with the advertising industry to provide users with more control over their online ad experience and the option to opt-out of personal targeting without blocking ads altogether.

These findings in addition to those quoted from the TRUSTe / National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) U.S. Consumer Privacy Index published earlier this year are based on data from an online survey conducted by Ipsos, commissioned by TRUSTe, with 1,000 adults aged 18-75 in the U.S. from December 17-22, 2015. Tracking data is available for the previous four years. According to the survey, the business impact of consumers’ privacy concerns remains high with 89 percent avoiding doing business with companies they don’t believe protect their privacy and 74 percent of those who worry about their privacy online limiting their online activity in the last 12 months due to their concerns. Of those who worried about their privacy online, 51% did not click on an online ad in the last 12 months – the most common action taken due to privacy concerns.

“The battle for consumer hearts and minds is raging across the internet as industry solutions compete to address consumer concerns over ads. As ad blockers bite into digital advertising revenues and threaten the current publishing model, the stakes are high on this user experience battleground” said Chris Babel, CEO at TRUSTe.

“The good news is that 42% are aware of the DAA AdChoices icon which gives them control over ad tracking and 39% say it makes them feel more positive about the concept of OBA as well. These latest stats show the sustained growth and success of the DAA program and what’s at stake for the digital publishing industry as a whole.”

Later this week, TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel will be speaking on a Publishers’ Roundtable titled “The Increasingly ‘Relevant’ Ad-Financed Business Model” at the Digital Advertising Alliance 2016 Summit from May 12-13.

About TRUSTe

TRUSTe powers privacy compliance and trust by enabling businesses to use data across their customer, employee and vendor channels. We have nearly 20 years’ experience and a team of over 150 professionals dedicated to providing data privacy management solutions and services, including assessments, certifications and our SaaS-based Platform. The Data Privacy Management Platform provides control over all phases of privacy; from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand. For further information see

About TRUSTe Ads Compliance Manager

TRUSTe Ads Compliance Manager is a comprehensive technology solution that gives consumers more control over their online ad experience by allowing them to opt-out of targeted advertising across mobile, tablet and desktop devices via the DAA’s AdChoices icon. Consumers can opt-out of personal targeting on desktop or mobile via the AdChoices Icon within the specific ad, on the website or by using the TRUSTe mobile app.

Research Methodology

The TRUSTe / National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) U.S. Consumer Privacy Index research was conducted by Ipsos using an online survey among a representative quota sample of 1,000 adults aged 18-75 in the U.S. from December 17-22, 2015. Among these, 864 were aware of activities related to data privacy, 847 were aware of activities that could be done to protect online privacy, while 960 said they ever worry about their privacy online. Survey data were weighted by age, gender, region and working status to known offline population proportions.

Comparison data for the U.S. for the previous four years is available from research conducted online by Ipsos between November 28 and December 5, 2014 and by Harris Interactive on behalf of TRUSTe from December 11-13, 2013 among 2,019 U.S. adults age 18 and older, from January 7-9, 2013 among 2,166 U.S. adults age 18 and older and from January 17-21, 2012 among 2,415 U.S. adults age 18 and older. These surveys can be accessed here and form part of TRUSTe’s ongoing consumer privacy research program.

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