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New research shows growing awareness of the OBA Icon, and understanding of this EU Industry initiative to give control over targeted advertising choices


16 Dec 2015


Innovation & Enterprise

In 10 of the 13 countries surveyed, at least 1 in 4 consumers who are aware of the OBA Icon say they have clicked on it

Brussels, 16 December 2015 – New research 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 online behavioural advertising (OBA) is rising and can have a positive impact on consumer attitudes towards OBA .

The European Advertising Consumer Research Index 2015 provides a comprehensive picture of attitudes and awareness of the European Self-Regulatory Programme for Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) across 13 European countries surveyed. The study was conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of TRUSTe and the EDAA from 21 October - 13 November 2015 with over 13,000 online adults.

The results show that awareness of the OBA Icon is rising.  Also, those who have seen the Icon are choosing to find out more, as in ten out of the 13 countries surveyed at least 1 in 4 adults who have seen the icon report they have clicked on it.  The Programme can have a positive effect on attitudes too. When presented with information provided by clicking on the icon and having the opportunity to manage their privacy preferences, more than 2 in 5 (44%) across the 13 countries surveyed report being more favourable about the concept of Online Behavioural Advertising


Chris Babel, CEO TRUSTe said:

“There is an urgent industry need to stem the rising tide of ad-blockers and increase consumer understanding of the value of advertising, which supports online content and services often at little to no cost for the consumer. This research shows the importance and effectiveness of programs which enable consumers to exercise meaningful choice with regard to online behavioural advertising, as opposed to turning off ads altogether.”


Oliver Gray, EDAA Director-General said:

“This report comes as European policy makers take key decisions that will affect online ad business models. We’re proud to demonstrate, through this research and the day to day operation of the European Self-Regulatory Programme, how effective ad self-regulation can and should be considered as a viable element of the policy mix in this space.”


Summary of Key Findings

Among all adults surveyed across 13 countries,

•         Awareness of the OBA Icon with Admarker text (e.g. AdChoices) is highest in Portugal (40%), Greece (38%) and Ireland (32%), followed by Great Britain,  where awareness has risen steadily for the last four years from 13% in 2012 to 28% this year.  In eight of the thirteen countries surveyed awareness of the OBA Icon when accompanied by the Admarker text is significantly higher.

In the ten countries where the research was also completed in 2014,

•         Awareness of the Icon with Admarker text has increased three points to 21% among 18-50 year olds

Among adults who have seen the Icon in either form,

•         In ten of the 13 European countries surveyed at least 1 in 4 report they have clicked on it. This is as high as around 2 in 5 in Poland (40%), Spain and Bulgaria (both 39%) and Greece (38%).

•         Understanding of the Icon is increasing with adults in 11 (of 13) countries who had seen the icon placing “manage your privacy preferences” in their top two choices for the meaning of the Icon, compared with only 4 (of 10) countries in 2014.

Seeing the information provided by clicking on the Icon and the option to manage privacy preferences can lead to adults having more favourable attitudes towards the concept of OBA and trust of the brand being advertised. Among 18-50 year olds in the 13 countries surveyed in 2015…

•         44% 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

•         35% report having this information available makes them trust the brand being advertised more.

Copies of the research infographic are available here


Research Methodology

The study was conducted online by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of TRUSTe and the EDAA from 21 October - 13 November 2015 with over 13,000 adults across 13 different European countries listed below. Interviews were carried out on Ipsos MORI’s online i:Omnibus service using a quota sample of adults who are members of Ipsos’ European Online Panel. For each country, quotas were set and data weighted according to age, gender and region. The ages of adults interviewed for each country were as follows: Great Britain and France (adults aged 16-75), Germany and Italy (adults aged 16-70), Spain and Sweden (adults aged 16-65), Hungary and Poland (adults aged 16-60), Finland and Ireland (adults aged 18-65), Portugal and Bulgaria (adults aged 18-55), and Greece (adults aged 18-50). Further details are available here

Comparison data is available for all markets apart from Bulgaria, Finland and Ireland as TRUSTe and the EDAA conducted comparable research with Ipsos MORI in 2014. Certain findings from Great Britain are also trackable where TRUSTe ran comparable research carried out by Harris in 2012 and 2013.


About TRUSTe

TRUSTe powers privacy compliance and trust by enabling businesses to use data across their customer, employee and vendor channels. We have nearly 20 years experience and a team of over 150 professionals dedicated
to providing data privacy management solutions and services, including assessments, certifications and our SaaS-based Platform. The Data Privacy Management Platform provides control over all phases of privacy; from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand. See


About the EDAA

The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels and is responsible for enacting key aspects of the Self-Regulatory Programme for Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) across Europe since its launch in October 2012. EDAA principally acts as the central licensing body for the OBA Icon and provides technical means for consumers to exercise transparency and control over OBA through the online consumer choice platform. EDAA is governed by EU-level organisations which make up the value chain of OBA within Europe and acts to ensure European consistency in approach. More information can be found at


For media enquiries contact:

Eleanor Treharne-Jones, TRUSTe

+1 415 430 8945


Dave Barron, EDAA

+32 2 213 4180




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