The Brand Safety Continuum: The Role of Privacy Self-Regulation

October 30, 2017

There’s much attention paid of late to brand safety – and that’s a good thing for the long-term growth and overall health of the digital advertising ecosystem.

In almost every measure, brand safety is enhanced where and when transparency is extended.  Cheers to the foresight of our trade association founders: In the Digital Advertising Alliance YourAdChoices program, we’ve known this to be the case for the six-plus years our Principles – and their independent enforcement – have been in-market.

Each DAA participant explains to the consumer in real time how they and their ad partners responsibly collect and use data for interest-based advertising purposes by adhering to DAA Principles.  Our ubiquitous icon – served globally more than a trillion times each month – is recognized by more and more consumers as an interest-based ad marker.  Furthermore, a large majority liken it to a seal of trust:  75 percent place a greater level of trust in desktop and mobile interest-based ads that carry the YourAdChoices icon, and 79 percent cite similarly where Web sites display the icon (such as in footer notices).  The presence of our icon even can serve as a predictor of trust for the innovations that may come in such advertising in the future.

By participating directly with DAA, each company has the opportunity to leverage effectively the icon’s halo effect.

Each DAA participant further offers consumers direct mechanisms to control such data collection and usage (through our WebChoices and AppChoices tools, for example) – and more often than not, further brand engagement is the result.

Transparency – and control -- demystifies responsible data flows and makes the way for relevance.  And value.

Most consumers understand and embrace the value exchange extended by advertising in general (which they value at close to $1,200 per year).  A previous study also found that interest-based advertising is more than twice as effective at converting users who click on the ads into buyers (6.8 percent conversion vs. 2.8 percent conversion for run-of-network ads).

This cannot be understated. Consumers want – and perhaps demand – such transparency and control, and through DAA participation, we are helping the ad ecosystem meet this expectation in a brand-safe way.

Certainly, there are other aspects of brand safety in digital advertising.  Brand safety is a continuum where attention and vigilance is required as each innovation comes forward.  Where privacy rules of the road are in play, DAA participation is central to the solution.  If you’d like to see a sample of the companies who proactively work with the DAA, please feel free to look at our Participants page at  After all, knowing that your partners in the supply chain work to uphold the same high standards of privacy you do is part and parcel of brand safety.  

Our program keeps pace with innovation – desktop to mobile to cross-device – but never loses sight of how transparency and control can (and must) be afforded if we are to increase the trust that is essential to drive business growth.

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