IAB Ireland launches consumer awareness campaign re: OBA June 2013




  • Ad campaign is designed to drive consumer awareness, provide information and enable consumer choice.
  • Ireland among first countries in wider pan-European roll out

IAB Ireland launched today a consumer-focused awareness campaign, developed and funded by the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), designed to increase consumer awareness, understanding and empowerment regarding online ‘interest-based advertising’ otherwise known as ‘Online Behavioural Advertising’ (OBA).

The ad campaign, designed in partnership with Mediacom’s Beyond Advertising division,

features various creative concepts including a zip, which opens to reveal the blue triangular ‘AdChoices’ icon that has accompanied behavioural ads in Ireland and across the EU for over a year.

On clicking the ads, users are taken to a landing page explaining the role of online advertising and how privacy can be protected. Consumers may also watch a video, which provides a user-friendly description of ‘interest-based advertising’ OBA Consumer Awareness Campaign landing page.  Subsequently, users can also click through to a broader website (www.youronlinechoices.ie).

Given its pan-European nature, the campaign is a ground-breaking initiative for the online advertising ecosystem. The first phase of the campaign commences in June across Ireland, the UK and Germany.  Other EU countries will join the schedule in the Autumn.

Jon Chase (Chairman of EACA’s European Media Agencies Council and CEO of Velvet Rock Communications) who helped to develop and coordinate this European campaign on behalf of all stake-holders involved, remarked ‘The launch is the result of a huge effort from all sectors of the European online advertising ecosystem, involving representative associations at both EU and national level, as well as the direct involvement of digital media companies providing substantial amounts of advertising inventory to ensure the campaign reaches a significant audience across Europe.’

The ‘AdChoices’ icon is an integral part of the pan-European OBA self-regulatory initiative supported by the European Commission, IAB Europe, EASA, EACA and various other organisations acting on behalf of the advertising industry.  The OBA framework provides consumers with increased transparency and control in respect of targeted online ads.  On clicking the icon, users visit the Your Online Choices (YOC) website and receive detailed information on how data is collected and used to serve these ads and ways users can control OBA.

Interest-based advertising is not based on any personal information which identifies a user rather, it is based upon the sites previously visited by the user.

The online ad campaign will initially run from Monday June 24th for eight to ten weeks. IAB Ireland’s members across news, media owners, and classified sites, as well as advertising technology businesses have donated inventory in support of the campaign.*

ASAI, as a member of EASA, has announced today that from September 1st, in accordance with the terms of the EASA Best Practice Recommendations on OBA, it will take on the role of handling complaints from consumers in respect of online behavioural advertising.  ASAI’s role in complaint handling will provide consumers with further recourse in relation to any OBA complaints: ASAI OBA Rules.

Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland said ‘We are delighted that the Irish market is one of the front runners in driving consumer awareness and understanding of online behavioural advertising.  This reflects the real commitment of IAB Ireland and its members to strong self-regulation.  It is indeed timely that ASAI are also today announcing their role in relation to OBA complaint handling.’

‘The EDAA’s consumer-focused awareness campaign will help users understand how online advertising works while enabling users to make choices in relation to OBA’, Suzanne concluded.


For further information please contact:

Maeve O’Meara, Marketing Manager IAB Ireland, 086 8522291, Maeve@iabireland.ie

Notes for Editors:

The following companies are supporting the OBA campaign:  AOL, Adtech, Boards.ie, Daft.ie, Donedeal.ie, Independent Digital, The Irish Times, TheJournal.ie, Microsoft, Sky Media, TV3 and Yahoo!

Velvet Rock Communications is coordinating the campaign on behalf of the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), the body administering key aspects of the European Self Regulatory Programme on OBA.

Campaign Artwork:

Landing page: www.youronlinechoices.com/ie/ads-the-internet-the-icon-revealed










IAB Ireland is the trade association for the Irish online advertising industry. As a not for profit organisation IAB Ireland works with members to ensure marketers can identify the best role for online in building their brands. IAB Ireland is a member of both IAB Europe and IAB US. The IAB network shares three core objectives, namely to prove, promote and protect the online advertising industry. These objectives are fulfilled through the dissemination of authoritative research, the organisation of educational events and by promoting industry-wide best practice.



The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels and is responsible for enacting key aspects of the self-regulatory initiative for Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) across Europe. 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 youronlinechoices.eu 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 www.edaa.eu.



The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) is the self-regulatory body set up by the advertising industry, including advertisers, agencies and media companies, to promote the highest standards of commercial advertising and to enforce the ASAI’s Code, full details of which are available on ASAI’s website – www.asai.ie.


Primarily, the education campaign will drive awareness of the OBA icon, licensed by the EDAA and placed on online ads, to ensure consumers associate it with meaningful transparency, choice and control over online behavioural advertising.

The OBA icon is a means for consumers to identify where OBA is being practiced in a clear and contextual manner. The icon links consumers to a pan-European consumer choice platform at www.youronlinechoices.eu, which aims to inform and provide choice and control. The website has been revamped alongside the launch of the campaign.

Through the Programme, consumers will better understand online advertising, as well as the means that are available to them if they wish to file complaints. Credible consumer complaint handling mechanisms in each national market will be handled by well-established and recognised national advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs).


The “Unzipped” campaign has been designed by Mediacom Beyond Advertising and was based around a concept initially developed by a team of students from KH Leuven in Belgium (finalists in the 2012 Ad Venture student competition run by the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA)).



The Self Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioural Advertising have been developed through a cross-industry effort at European level, with EASA’s (European Advertising Standards Alliance) Best Practice Recommendation on OBA building on the IAB Europe (Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe) OBA Framework.


An essential role regarding compliance with these Principles is played by the national Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) and IABs. Companies should be aware of the national SROs where they operate. More information, including contact details of SROs can be found on EASA’s website: www.easa-alliance.org.