Ads that Help Consumers Understand Online Advertising


Posted by Bill Nielsen
Director, Industry Outreach 
Microsoft Advertising

The Interactive Advertising Bureau today launched its first public-service advertising campaign, entitled “Privacy Matters,” designed to educate consumers about interest-based or behavioral advertising.  Microsoft assisted the campaign by contributing advertising impressions, along with many other IAB members,  and helping with testing of the creative, ad-serving and analytics.

The goal of the campaign is to educate consumers about how online advertising works and provide them with information to help protect their privacy online—all in plain English. 

The campaign is comprised of a series of online ads that lead to a branded, information-rich Web site,   At that site, consumers can get advice about how to protect their online privacy and engage in conversations about their privacy concerns. 

Here’s an example of one of the ads, which were developed by Schematic, an interactive advertising agency:

Banner example
(For those interested in the thinking behind the ads, Schematic describes them as a “Saul Bass inspired creative direction that is both unique and visually striking, with a combination of strong aesthetics and bold headlines that will entice Web users to head over to the Privacy Matters site to learn more about data privacy.”  Saul Bass was famous for his title sequences in some of Hollywood’s classic movies, such as North by NorthwestThe Man with the Golden Arm and Psycho.)

Visitors to the Privacy Matters Web site will also find information that explains some of the benefits of behavioral advertising.  A Web surfer’s online experience can actually be more interesting if the advertising he or she sees is related to issues they are interested in. 

The site provides detailed information about how targeting is done by identifying interests, geography, demographics and online behaviors.  It also provides a forum where we hope that users will engage and provide advertisers more insights into their interests and concerns about online advertising.

Microsoft is participating in this industry-wide education effort to help better inform consumers about online advertising.  Visit the site, view the ads, and feel free to provide your thoughts and comments.


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