Quantcast Adopts Ad Option Icon

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Back in February, we noted how the “advertising option icon” at right, a logo to warn web surfers about targeted marketing, would be enforced by the Direct Marketing Association.

Now comes word that Quantcast, a leading provider of audience measurement and media targeting solutions, has signed on to the program, spearheaded by the US Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), in a move that expands adoption of the icon for millions of small and medium-size website publishers.

While larger web publishers and advertisers including MSNBC.com, Google, Time Inc., General Motors and Kraft Foods, have adopted the program, smaller companies have been slower to sign up.[more]

“It looked to us like the industry was having a hard time getting everyone involved,” Quantcast general counsel Michael Blum tells Ad Age. “We have relationships with many more publishers in the long tail, and we hope this will accelerate the process of more publishers being involved.”

Publishers with annual online behavioral advertising (OBA) revenues under $2 million and total annual revenues under $15 million are eligible for the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising, by featuring the Advertising Option Icon on their web page, enabling consumers to a link to a Consumer Opt-Out page.

According to Ad Age, it’s estimated that about 30% of the U.S. $28.5 billion in  digital ad revenue is based on targeted ads.

“Consumer privacy is a top priority for Quantcast,” Blum said in a press release. “We are making this investment because we believe it will help the DAA continue to achieve widespread adoption of the Program and establish the Icon as the universal symbol of transparency and consumer choice.”

The Self-Regulatory Program was launched in 2010, Quantcast joins more than 100 companies actively participating.

Based on seven “Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising” proposed by the Federal Trade Commission, but not enacted as law, the program assures consumers “enhanced control over the collection and use of data regarding their Internet viewing for OBA purposes.”

In May, FTC director of Consumer Protection David Vladeck told Ad Age, “We want to see how it plays. This is all new. I want to give credit to the industry for moving forward on this, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll work.”

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