CMA in partnership with BrandSpark International conducted a study of consumer attitudes toward online interest-based advertising in Q4 2014 – examining how privacy concerns impact their receptivity to this advertising. A series of questions about interest-based advertising was included in BrandSpark’s annual survey of household grocery shoppers in Canada. A total of 9,459 respondents from BrandSpark’s online panel completed the survey over the period of November 3 - December 12, 2014. A new subject was introduced in the 2014 survey to begin tracking the impact of Canada’s Ad Choices Program. More
INSIGHT: Overall, consumer confidence in interest-based advertising has not changed since first studied in 2013 (1/3 of Canadians are comfortable with the practice). However, consumers who are aware of the Ad Choices Program icon and what it signifies are more likely to be receptive to:
- Personalized recommendations made by online shopping sites based on their past purchases, and
- Being shown ads relevant to their interests based on their online browsing data, if the advertiser is transparent and the consumer has the opportunity to opt-out.
These findings should give advertisers confidence in the Ad Choices Program. CMA contends that if more brands get on-board the Ad Choices Program, consumer confidence in their privacy protection online will increase as will their receptivity to interest-based advertising – a win for consumers and the brands who want to connect with them online.Note: In our study, interest-based advertising was defined as “the collecting of information about your browsing activities across different websites in order to show you ads that are likely more relevant to your interests.”