Behavioural targeting - Guide

Behavioural targeting (also known as behavioural or interest based advertising) is a growing way of making the advertising you see on websites more relevant to your interests and preferences. It is based upon previous unidentifiable web browsing activity, such as pages viewed, searches made and ads clicked on.

Using the latest data-driven technology, businesses can provide information about products and services to people who are actually interested in receiving this information.

IAB research shows that behavioural targeting can make display advertising budgets work harder. For web publishers, it allows a better return on investment for advertising inventory providing greater revenues to make content, services and applications available at little or no cost.

In making display advertising more effective, privacy concerns need to be addressed and allayed. The IAB developed Europe’s first good practice in March 2009 and is working to implement a pan-European self-regulatory programme. This will include the displaying of an ‘icon’ within all ads that use this technique and which – when clicked – is linked to further information and methods of control. For further information on this see www.youronlinechoices.com/goodpractice.

The IAB’s Behavioural Targeting Council is the main IAB forum for discussing key issues in this sector.