Digital advertising offers a rich environment for advertisers to direct relevant content towards consumers through the many data and technology driven targeting capabilities available. For a marketer this is digital’s biggest differentiator; the ability to precisely target the right message to the right user at the right time based on that users online behavior and profile. And the benefits of Behavioral Advertising span beyond eliminating just media waste to ensuring users only receive the most relevant, timely and valued information. However, from a user’s perspective it’s not always easy to understand how behavioral advertising is actioned; what data is collected and how it’s applied.
I encourage you to also read my article “Don’t Miss The Target Online” from earlier this morning about the growing importance of online targeting as the global media landscape becomes ever more complex and fragmented.
With a world-wide registered user base of over 650m Microsoft has always been at the forefront of providing consumer with clear notice of what data is collected for the purpose of Behavioural Advertising and the ability to opt-out in 3 simple steps from any of our MSN or Hotmail pages.
In the UK we were founding members of IAB’s Good Practice Principles and we are pleased to say that this initiative is now being rolled out by the IAB Europe EU wide through a set of Best Practice Recommendations (BPR) under the Online Behavioural Advertising Framework (OBA Framework).
This OBA Framework, combined with the Best Practice Recommendations, will enforce transparency in OBA across Europe by introducing new standards and user controls. This heralds a new age in informing and empowering consumers to make meaningful choices about the way they use OBA. As a result of this Framework, consumers will know when a website is using OBA through the use on an icon around the online advert, which once clicked on will provide more information about the companies involved in that advert and a link to more information on OBA. This puts the power of choice into the consumers hands, as not only will they know when OBA is in use, but they will also be able to switch it off, if they so wish.
The OBA Framework will be enforced through an innovative system of self-regulation, compliance programme providers and special ‘seals’ to demonstrate compliance. It will be doubly reinforced by working with the European Advertising Standards Alliance’s network of self-regulatory organisations.
The successful future of online advertising depends on the trust of consumers, which in turn depends on transparency. Microsoft Advertising is committed to being open and transparent with both its partners and consumers and driving best practice in this space.
That’s why, for example, the latest version of Internet Explore 9 provides web user enhanced privacy settings enabling them to build and manage a ‘do not track list’ providing more control of the amount of information they share with third party sites. And why we have been trialing additional ways of increasing transparency for consumers, under approved IAB principles, such as incorporating “About our advertisements” links in the footer across a number of our MSN, Windows Live and Bing EU sites.
We are pleased to sign the OBA Framework, which provides consistency for the whole industry across the EU region, as further demonstration of our commitment to providing Digital Consumers with better Education, Choice and Control.
Laurent Delaporte (VP EMEA, Microsoft Advertising)