DAA Poll: Americans Want Free Internet Content, Value Interest-Based Advertising

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Americans place great value on the availability of free Internet content, and appreciate Internet advertising that is tailored to their specific interests, a new poll finds. The survey, commissioned by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), measured attitudes regarding online advertising, with a specific focus on interest-based ads.

In addition to strongly supporting Internet advertising in general, poll respondents were highly receptive to the interest-based advertising that lies at the heart of the DAA’s mission. Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicated that they’d like at least some ads tailored directly to their interests, compared to only 16 percent who preferred to only see generic ads for products and services. Zogby Analytics conducted the poll of 1,000 US adults.

“What the poll makes clear is that consumers prefer ads that reflect their particular interests, which is precisely what interest-based advertising was created to provide,” said Lou Mastria, managing director of the DAA, a self-regulatory body that promotes transparency and user choice for interest-based ads. “The poll also demonstrates that Americans’ privacy concerns are rightly focused on real threats like malware and identity theft, and not on an industry that follows rigorous, enforceable guidelines for data collection and use. DAA is proud to operate a choice tool that gives consumers the choice and control they need to feel comfortable and confident with interest-based advertising.”

More than 90 percent of Americans polled said that free content was important to the overall value of the Internet, and more than 60 percent said it was “extremely” important. Similarly, more than 75 percent of poll respondents said they prefer content (like news, blogs and entertainment sites) to remain free and supported by advertising, compared to fewer than 10 percent who said they’d rather pay for ad-free content.

DAA operates a consumer education program and choice tool that allows users to tailor how and whether they receive interest-based advertising. DAA’s ubiquitous AdChoices icon is served over a trillion times per month and simultaneously supports ad-funded content while providing real-time transparency and on-demand choice. The DAA choice tool presents a consistent user experience on any browser and soon the DAA Principles will be extended to the mobile environment. In the past year alone more than five million Americans accessed the choice tool, and more than 14 million visited the DAA’s education site.

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