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EDAA promotes transparency, choice and consumer control over digital advertising


22 Mar 2017



Brussels, 22 March 2017 – The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) released its 2016 Activity Report today. The report shows a strong record of activity and adaptation to consumer needs over the course of last year, but more importantly, a vibrant and inclusive advertising ecosystem infrastructure ready to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape going forward.

The digital advertising industry and digital media are characterised by rapid change and innovation.  Collaboration between the stakeholders gathered around the table in the EDAA – from advertisers to agencies, technology companies and publishers – ensures that technology is harnessed to address consumer requirements that are equally fast-moving, and that the industry is held accountable for its commitments. 

The programme continues to grow year-on-year, with over 165 businesses participating in the programme in 2016 across Europe, representing a unique achievement. Furthermore, internet users across the 33 markets (EU, EEA, Switzerland and Turkey) have been exercising choice and control over their online advertising preferences, with an average of 1.9 million visitors to the “youronlinechoices” website – where they can decide whether to receive OBA from the companies listed. What’s more, recent research[i], detailed in the report, shows the growing awareness of the OBA programme amongst users. In Portugal (59%), Greece (52%) and Ireland (39%), followed by Great Britain (34%), awareness of the OBA Icon[ii] has risen steadily for five consecutive years. And the evidence is clear that better information, and the ability to manage one’s online advertising preferences, results in internet users being more favourable towards OBA. 44% of respondents say they are more favourable towards the concept of OBA when presented with information provided by clicking on the icon and having the opportunity to manage their privacy preferences.

The 2016 activity report also details how the EDAA’s self-regulation model has been adapting to changes in consumer behaviour. As consumers move to smaller mobile screens, and businesses bet on digital video as the new frontier in advertising (representing 16.7% of the overall European display advertising market (IAB Europe, 2016)), EDAA has introduced guidance to adapt the Self-Regulatory Programme to the mobile and video environment. The scope was also extended to cover the collection and use of cross-application data, location data and personal device data (such as address book information), all of which are relevant in a mobile setting. Businesses received technical guidance around applying the OBA icon   to online video ads.

Townsend Feehan, EDAA Chair, noted “the 2016 Activity Report demonstrates the industry’s continuing commitment to delivering transparency, control and choice for European citizens when it comes to interest-based advertising, a type of advertising that aligns advertisers’ need for efficiency with consumers’ demonstrated preferences for ads that are relevant.  It provides a snapshot of a programme that is continuing to improve consumer awareness, and even more importantly, can adapt to the fluid regulatory and policy environment.  That regulatory environment will change as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is enforced as from May 2018, and may be upended by the introduction of new rules on “ePrivacy” thereafter. Initiatives like the EDAA programme provide the best hope of salvaging the user benefits of advertising’s support for valuable online services in a policy environment that is making the delivery of that support more and more challenging.”

The EDAA Programme is based on the European Principles on OBA, meaning internet users can be confident that participating companies are respecting key principles, including notice, user choice, data security, sensitive segmentation and education. On top of this, is a system of credible compliance and enforcement. National advertising self-regulatory organisations implement these standards into their own Codes, and handle complaints - so that the OBA programme delivers effective and accountable enforcement.




For media enquiries, please contact:

Uzo Madu

EDAA Communications Coordinator

+32 2 213 4180




The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance is responsible for providing businesses with the means to achieving aspects of best practice in online behavioural advertising, for the benefit of European business and consumers. The EDAA licenses the OBA Icon,  to businesses. It is displayed in or around the ads on desktop and mobile – a clear sign to internet users that ads are being delivered using OBA. Not only that, the icon also links through to the, where internet users can learn more about OBA, what it helps fund (ads are the main source of funding for most websites and social networks)[iii] and how they can exercise control over the collection and use of their data for OBA. Internet users can also actively choose whether to receive OBA from the list of companies on the platform, with a simple click of a button. For information on EDAA’s objectives, operations, participating companies and governing bodies, please visit:



[i] European Advertising Consumer Research Report 2016, conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of TRUSTe and the EDAA from 04 – 20 November 2016 with more than 15,000 participants.

[ii] With Admarker: the text which may accompany the icon (i.e. “AdChoices” in English)

[iii] ‘Can advertising support a free internet? (The Guardian) 7 November 2016