New Research Shows Foundations for Growth of European Industry Initiative that Gives Consumers Transparency & Control over Advertising Choices

New Research Shows Foundations for Growth of European Industry Initiative that Gives Consumers Transparency & Control over Advertising Choices


Awareness of the OBA Icon has Doubled in Britain and 1 in 25 European Consumers Have Visited the Your Online Choices website.

Brussels, 17 December, 2014 – A new online study commissioned by the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) and TRUSTe, a leading data privacy management company, has revealed that awareness of an icon aimed at providing greater transparency and control over behavioural advertising has doubled in Great Britain and, in just two years, the EU Self-Regulatory Programme underpinning this has achieved recognition and engagement. 

The European Advertising Consumer Research Index 2014  provides a comprehensive picture of attitudes and awareness of the EU Self-Regulatory Programme across Europe. The study was conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of TRUSTe and the EDAA from 21 October – 10 November 2014 with over 10,000 respondents across 10 different European countries. The countries chosen — Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Sweden — were selected based on range of geographic spread and current implementation status of the EU Self-Regulatory Programme. An EDAA consumer awareness campaign took place in Greece in 2014 and one in Sweden had just commenced when the research was conducted. Comparison data is available for certain findings from Great Britain where TRUSTe commissioned comparable research carried out by Harris in 2012 and 2013.

The results show that awareness of the icon continues to rise in Great Britain with awareness increasing from 13% (2012) to 22% (2013) to 26% (2014) over the last two years and that the EDAA’s 2014 consumer awareness campaign provided a significantly greater level of awareness in Greece, where 39% of respondents are familiar with the icon,

Among those who have seen the icon in Sweden and Greece, around 1 in 3 (both 32%) have chosen to find out more by clicking on the icon, with this figure rising to around half in Spain (49%). The Programme has been shown to have the potential for a positive effect on attitudes too, with 54% in Portugal more favourable towards the idea of online behavioural advertising if they have information about how adverts are delivered to them online and the option of managing their privacy preferences.

A summary of key findings include:

  • Consumer awareness of the icon is highest in Greece (39%) where the most recent consumer awareness campaign took place

  • Across four countries surveyed (GB, Greece, Portugal and Hungary) the recognition is significantly higher when the icon is accompanied by the Admarker text e.g. “AdChoices”

  • Among those who have previously seen the icon, the proportion who report they have clicked on it is highest in Spain (49%)

  • 1 in 25 respondents aged between 18-50 in the ten markets surveyed say that they have visited the youronlinechoices.eu website.

  • Across the ten countries, the majority (57%) of 18-50 year olds who report they have visited youronlinechoices.eu correctly believe its primary purpose is to provide instructions to manage their advertising preferences.

  • The Programme has the potential to improve consumer attitudes with 54% of respondents in Portugal saying that having the option of managing their privacy preferences and information about how adverts are delivered to them online would make them more favourable towards behavioural or interest-based ads.

 “Consumer trust and understanding is essential to the digital advertising industry”, commented Nick Stringer, Chair of the EDAA and Director of Regulatory Affairs at IAB UK. “The findings of the 2014 European Advertising Consumer Research Index demonstrate how the EU industry initiative is helping to empower consumers with greater transparency and control over their online behavioural advertising preferences.”

 “The results of this year’s European Advertising Consumer Research Index show foundations for growth of this important European self–regulatory initiative that gives transparency and control over advertising choices to European consumers and is achieving increasing recognition and momentum amongst the industry and regulators.” said Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe.

 Copies of the research infographic are available here.

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