Follow The Data: New Survey Shows Strong Consumer Support for Expanded Use of AdChoices Icon

April 2, 2024

The Big Idea: A new survey shows that a large majority of Americans recognize, trust, understand, and support the Digital Advertising Alliance’s AdChoices Icon, and they want to see the icon’s functionality expanded to include new tools and technologies.

As corporate leaders and policymakers look at emerging advertising technologies and new regulatory proposals, we should all listen closely to the people who will use those tools to get information and express their choices. A new survey conducted by the Digital Advertising Alliance asked Americans a broad range of questions about the AdChoices Icon, and the results offered compelling and valuable guidance in that process. 

The survey found that Americans broadly recognize, understand, trust, and support the AdChoices Icon that appears across ads, websites, and apps, and they want the icon to be used for new privacy-related information and choices in future.

Among the results:

  • Recognition: Four in five respondents (79%) said they recognized the AdChoices Icon.
  • Understanding: Most respondents (53%) correctly said the icon gives a person information and choices about the types of ads they receive.
  • Utility: More than three-quarters (78%) said the AdChoices Icon is useful.
  • Ease-of-Use: The vast majority (85%) said the AdChoices Icon is easy to understand.
  • Trust: Almost three-quarters (72%) said the AdChoices Icon increases trust in the advertisers that use it.
  • Importance: Three-quarters (78%) of respondents said it's important to have access to simple icon-based information and choices about advertising.

When directly asked whether they preferred to use the AdChoices Icon over new alternatives, respondents choose the AdChoices Icon by more than a two-to-one margin, with 72% saying AdChoices should be used for both existing and new choices about advertising, while just 28% said different icons should be used.

Consumers also provided their guidance to elected officials and regulators as they consider privacy-related proposals. By a two-to-one margin, respondents said policymakers should encourage companies to use the AdChoices Icon (70%) vs. creating different icons/tools (30%).

Finally, three-quarters (75%) said the use of multiple icons would be confusing, saying it would be very (28%) or somewhat (47%) confusing if there were multiple icons that provided similar types of information/choices about advertising. 

For me, the key takeaway from these results was not one of complacency, but opportunity. 

Consumers clearly recognize, understand, and appreciate the AdChoices Icon as a trusted symbol and a portal for information and choices about interest-based advertising. Our opportunity now is to use this recognized gateway to provide more information, better controls, and a consolidated access point for a much broader range of privacy-related and preference options for consumers. 

Put simply, the AdChoices Icon program has been one of the great success stories in modern advertising self-regulation, and we should leverage that success as we build for the future.

The DAA is already putting those findings into action, as we expand the tools and options available through the AdChoices Icon to include token-based preferences, Addressable Media Identifiers, CMP-specific controls, and other “Cookies and Beyond” tools.

We look forward to working with companies across the industry to fulfill a vision that is clearly shared by consumers for the AdChoices Icon as a unified and integrated symbol for access to privacy-related information and choice.

If you’re interested in reviewing the full survey results, please visit the DAA website at:

 https://digitaladvertisingalliance.org/icon_assets/DAA_AdChoices_Icon_Awareness_Survey.pdf.

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