Are Online Users Aware of OBA practices and the Choices Available to Them...
...and do they care enough to take action? The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) recently published findings on online behavioral advertising (OBA) awareness and opt-out levels. In August 2011, Parks Associates tested recall and response rates to self-regulatory efforts giving consumers the option to opt-out of OBA. In review of the NAI’s findings, Parks Associates decided to compare their data to ours with aim to uncover changes in consumer behavior from mid-year to end of year 2011.
A high-level assessment of the data is as follows:
The analysis indicates, in general, online users are increasingly aware of OBA practices and the choices available to them. Despite growing awareness and voluntarily opt-out levels, Parks Associates research reveals few users, 19% of U.S. broadband households, claim to have ever seen one of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Advertising Option logos (as of August 2011). Even fewer online users, 5%, have ever clicked on the icons.
While the online industry supports self-regulatory efforts, the following data gives pause to industry initiatives to allow consumers to block personalized advertising campaigns. Over-one third of online users state that after clicking the icon they chose not to opt-out. Why? Get this - they want to receive ads that are customized to their product or service preference. What a novel idea. In addition, nearly one-third are simply do not care enough about the types of Internet ads they see to do so.
At present, few online users are concerned with OBA practices – at least not now. The rate to which attitudes change in the future is yet to be determined. Perhaps the DAA and its members should create and deploy an opt-in tool permitting consumers to choose to receive ads that are personally relevant and useful. The opt-in option could include special offers, coupons, free content, samples, etc. in exchange for doing so. Do you think consumer awareness and engagement with an opt-in tool (with incentives) would grow at a faster rate than the opt-out strategy?
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