Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the AdChoices Icon do?

The AdChoices Icon (also known as the "Advertising Option Icon") is a sign for consumer information and control for interest-based advertising (which is also referred to as “online behavioral advertising”). When you see the AdChoices Icon on a Web page or near a Web banner, it lets you know that information used to infer your interests is being gathered or used to improve the ads you see. By clicking on the AdChoices Icon, you learn about how interest-based ads are delivered to you. More importantly, the AdChoices Icon gives you the ability control whether you receive interest-based advertising and from which companies.

Where do you find this Icon?

The AdChoices Icon usually appears at or near the corner of online banner ads that you receive as you travel the Web. You may also see the AdChoices Icon displayed on the bottom of Web pages where information about your visits to the Web site may be gathered for the purpose of delivering ads based on your interests.

What is "Interest-based advertising"?

Just what it says: advertising that is delivered to you based on your likely interests. This type of advertising tries to make the ads you see more relevant based on the types of sites that you visit on the Web. With interest-based advertising, you receive ads and offers for products and services that are more likely to be useful to you.

For example, a sporting goods manufacturer might work with an advertising network that collects and uses interest-based information to deliver ads to the browsers of users that have recently visited sports-related sites. Or an airline might direct ads to users that recently visited travel-themed Web sites.

How is information about Web browsing used for this type of advertising?

When you visit particular Web sites and see particular ads online, information is gathered and stored in your browser with the help of small text files called Web "cookies." By using this information, advertising services providers can attempt to predict your likely interests and to determine which ads may be most relevant to serve you next.

Does interest-based advertising use my personal information?

Interest-based advertising doesn’t depend on information that may be personally identifiable to you, such as your e-mail address, your phone number, photographs, etc.

Can I opt out of interest-based advertising?

Yes. The AdChoices program is all about giving you information and control so that you can make informed choices about the interest-based advertising you receive online. The AdChoices Icon—whether in an advertisement or on Web pages—gives you access to consumer choice mechanisms where you may, at any time, opt out of the interest-based advertising that you receive from participating companies.

How does interest-based advertising benefit me as a consumer?

Better ads and offers. With interest-based advertising, you get ads that are more interesting, relevant, and useful to you. Those relevant ads improve the online experience and help users find the things that interest them more easily.

There is another benefit for you as well: free or lower-cost products and services. Interest-based advertising supports the Internet itself. Today’s Web sites and online services rely on this type of advertising for revenue so that they can offer a richer array of products and services for lower costs or entirely for free. Every time you check the latest breaking news, use e-mail, view weather forecasts, track your favorite stocks or sports team scores, or share photographs and videos, you are seeing the consumer benefits of interest-based advertising at work.

What organization oversees the AdChoices program?

The AdChoices program was created and is managed exclusively by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). The DAA is a consortium of the leading national advertising and marketing associations, which have joined together to help ensure the responsible use of consumer information in interest-based advertising. Today, many hundreds of advertising and marketing companies participate in the DAA AdChoices program, and billions of AdChoices Icons are served across the Internet each week.

For more information about the DAA and the participating industry associations, please visit www.aboutads.info.