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Why A Self-Regulated Industry Means Empowering Choices, Not “Do Not Track”

The Cure for They-Don't-Get-It Syndrome

The Industry Commits Two Billion Impressions for “Your AdChoices”

The Digital Advertising Alliance and IAB recently urged the industry to come together to support a critical campaign, the DAA’s “Your AdChoices” campaign. I am thrilled to report you have answered this call.


Thus far, two billion impressions have been committed to this pro bono effort aiming to build more trust among Internet users by explaining how online advertising works. Two key partners will help make these impressions possible: ADTECH, which will handle the ad serving, and UM, which will handle media management and optimization. We are extremely thankful that they have donated their time and expertise to help bring this important message to the people.

Donations of inventory have come from numerous IAB members. In particular, I am grateful to Rubicon for donating a heroic 700 million impressions and to 24/7 Media for donating more than 310 million impressions. Other IAB members who have stepped up and given generously include AdGent Digital, Ad Monsters, BlogHer, Business Insider, Buzz Media, Collective Media, Cox Media, Discovery Digital Media, Electronic Arts, Everyday Health Inc., Federated Media, Google, Kelley Blue Book, Microsoft, Netmining, OpenX, Slate, WeatherBug, WhitePages, Yahoo!, and Ziff-Davis.

The “Your AdChoices” consumer education campaign helps reinforce the industry’s commitment to self-regulation by addressing consumer concerns about how their information is being used. Through several fun, informative videos, the campaign explains how people are empowered to control the way they interact with digital advertising. Moreover, it demonstrates how advertising actually enhances digital experiences.

The Digital Advertising Alliance, along with MRM, a McCann Worldgroup company, showed inspiring leadership and creativity in developing this campaign. I’m now excited and encouraged by the outpouring of support from our peers who recognize that the best way to keep our industry free of unwanted regulation is to directly support the needs and concerns of the people who rely on it.

In the wake of last Thursday’s “Do Not Track” announcement from Microsoft, a consumer education campaign like this is more critical than ever. Both the DAA and IAB believe that the best way to provide the most compelling user experiences digitally is to empower them to make their own choices. This campaign shows them how to do just that.

The industry has already shown us that they’re behind this approach. Two years ago, when IAB launched the industry’s first consumer education campaign, “Privacy Matters,” the enthusiastic support of the digital ecosystem supported this pro bono campaign with 500 million impressions. As impressive as this was for the time, the fact that we’ve already quadrupled commitments demonstrates that the digital world is supporting this strategy of educating users and giving them choices. DAA’s “Your AdChoices” campaign comes at an important time for our world, but it also follows a history of support from the digital marketing industry.

Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I said mission accomplished. The numbers of companies who have not donated inventory to support this campaign greatly outnumber those that have. I implore all of us working in this field to make room for this campaign and do everything possible to maximize its impact. Our mission is only complete after we genuinely help every user better understand how advertising positively enhances their digital lives.

To contribute to the campaign, please contact [email protected]. And look for the Your AdChoices campaign on a Web site near you.


Randall Rothenberg
Executive Chair
at IAB