State of play of self-regulation in online advertising in 2018

By: European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance

May 22, 2019


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EDAA published its 2018 Activity Report, which details EDAA’s work undertaken in 2018 to pave the way to addressing crucial issues as we move forward. As the OBA programme continues to grow in strength and reputation each year, EDAA continues to provide invaluable services to all its participating companies and offer credible evidence of what effective self-regulation can achieve, when done right and with widespread industry adoption. With the GDPR now in effect and ePrivacy on the horizon, EDAA will continue to deliver industry-critical, consumer-facing self-regulatory solutions for data-driven advertising.

2018 was a pivotal year for data privacy in the European Union. While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) dominated 2018 since it came into effect on 25 May, the regulatory context is far from over. In this climate, EDAA and its governing associations representing the entire advertising ecosystem continue to provide meaningful self-regulatory solutions towards enhancing consumer trust over data-driven advertising.

Consumers see billions of EDAA’s OBA Icon delivered across European campaigns every year, linked to a Consumer Choice Platform, which sees an average of nearly 2 million monthly visitors.

2018 certainly set the tone and the pace for change – not only is the digital advertising industry founded on innovation, but Europe itself is in the midst of a course of change, and regulation in this space is rapidly evolving. But it is in times of change and flux that harmonised industry standards can provide their greatest value and be adapted to ever new and more challenging environments. Most importantly, it is through the proven value and track record of delivering credible and accountable transparency and control solutions on a Europe-wide scale, that EDAA will further develop across 2019, whilst continuing to engage in cross-industry discussions with all players about putting consumers first, and aligning the consumer-centric objectives of both business and regulators alike.

About EDAA

The European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA)’s principal purpose is to provide the ‘AdChoices Icon’ to companies involved in data-driven advertising across Europe. The AdChoices Icon is a consumer-facing, interactive symbol that links consumers to an online portal,, where consumers can find easy-to-understand information about data-driven advertising as well as a mechanism for exercising informed choice over tailored, personalised ads – if they so wish, consumers may ‘turn off’ personalised advertising by some or all companies.

EDAA is governed by EU-level organisations which make up the value chain of data-driven advertising within Europe and acts to ensure consistency in the European self-regulatory approach. The EDAA’s guiding principles are laid out in the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe) OBA Framework and the Best Practice Recommendation for Online Behavioural Advertising of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA).