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BizReport : Advertising archives : June 23, 2010

New "Power I" system will step up ad transparency

Ad transparency will be taken to a new level if a current trial of the "Power I" button takes off. The new add-on for ads, being backed by top brands, will give consumers an insight into what data was used to target the ad and give them the opportunity to opt-out.

by Helen Leggatt

Power I logo.jpgThe new system, from start-up Better Advertising, places an icon in the upper right hand corner of ads. Called the "Power I", partly due to its design that resembles a cross between an eye and a power button, the icon is activated on mouse-over, reports AdAge.

The Power I was developed in response to industry calls to balance the importance of transparency to consumers with keeping the online advertising ecosystem growing.

On mouse-over the Power I icon reveals to consumers all the data that the advertiser used to target them. The system will give consumers the chance to opt-out of future targeted ad campaigns from that particular company but won't allow them to opt-out of online advertising altogether.

AT&T, American Express and Microsoft are among dozens of companies whose ads will begin supporting the system this week.

But why the sudden rush to implement transparency systems for targeted advertising?

"There's a bill that will be introduced in Congress later this year, that would regulate online advertising," explained AdAge's Michael Learmonth in an interview with American Public Media's Kai Ryssdal.

"The FTC has told the online ad business that they really have one chance to kind of get it right, that they need to figure out a way to disclose what information is being used to target advertising to consumers. And if they don't do that, then regulation is going to be the next step."

Tags: online advertising, Power I, targeted advertising, targeted display, transparency

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