Marketing groups create logo for ethical online data collection sites, ads

A coalition of marketing organizations has created an icon that they, and their corporate partners, will use to distinguish marketers that practice ethical online behavioral advertising.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Council for Better Business Bureaus unveiled the icon, which indicates adherence to the groups’ Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, on January 27. The groups created the principles last summer as part of an ongoing effort to increase self-governance of the interactive marketing industry.

“We wanted to develop a single industry icon that we would use, and consumers could understand, that says there is some sort of data collection or targeting going on in this Web site,” said Mike Zaneis, VP of public policy at the IAB.

WPP and the Future of Privacy Forum created the icon after consumer research and testing on whether it successfully informed users about behavioral advertising practices.

Companies that participate in the program will be able to use the icon to indicate their adherence to the groups’ principals and to link to a page that provides consumers with information about data collection. The button will appear on Web pages where data is collected in or around advertisements or on the Web page itself.

Zaneis compared the icon to the recycling logo, and said it could be similarly well understood after considerable consumer education.

“We want to achieve the same level of understanding with this icon,” he said.

The IAB launched its first consumer-facing campaign last month, an effort to educate the public about the ins and outs of online privacy.

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