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NAI Reports Ad Networks Compliant with Privacy Code

Kerry Guard • February 14, 2012 • 2 minutes to read

With Valentines Day upon us, men and women alike are probably wondering why they're receiving ads for and 'making that special someone happy on this special day'.

This is called Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA). For example, if you visit and, after navigating off the site to somewhere else on the internet, you are served an advertisement for, you have been targeted based on your past browsing behaviors.


Just in time for this Valentines Day, the National Advertising Initiative (NAI) conducted a study amongst ad networks to ensure they were up to date on all OBA rules and regulations.

According to the NAI's annual report, a new record 60 ad networks were in compliance with current OBA regulations.

The NAI confirmed that this years findings represents a jump of nearly 100% in OBA compliant ad networks year over year.

Compliance is based on ad networks not collecting any personally identifiable information and showing a blue 'ad choices' button (as you see on the left) in the corner of the ad unit that allows users to opt out of behaviorally targeted advertising.


The ad choices button shows exactly which companies are targeting you and allows users to opt out, or tell those companies not to target them, based on their online browsing behaviors.

W hat is interesting is that of the 6.5 million people who actually clicked the blue 'ad choices' button to see who was targeting them, only 14% of those users actually chose to opt out of behavioral advertising.

What This Means

If 86% of users still chose to receive behaviorally relevant advertising, does this mean users don't care about sharing their browsing behaviors for more relevant advertising?

The short answer: It's still too early to decide. What we can suggest are the following timelines and metrics to measure this issue:

  • Problem: Since OBA compliance just kicked off in 2010, there is still less than two full years of data to analyze.
  • Solution: Measure year over year increase / decrease of the following metrics:
  • Number of 'ad choices' button expands
  • Number of opt-outs based upon 'ad choices' expands By measuring these metrics year over year, we can identify insights around how users are responding OBA compliance / opt-out advertising.

For more information on OBA compliance regulations, check out the definition by Google's Double Verify ad verification platform.

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