Control Your Ad Preferences 2012!

Updated for 2012 and just in time for the Holidays, its Control Your Ad Preferences 2012!

Don’t be a cafone and block ads or delete your cookies…forget what the privacy fanatics and content freeloaders say. TOTSB’s handy reference of major ad control settings panels is here to help. In our continuing effort to ease the privacy data paranoia and highlight consumer control, here is where you can adjust most if not all digital advertising preferences. 2

Overview for 2012
Overall, controlling your ad preferences has gotten easier. It is much simpler to do than correcting information on your credit report. What is interesting is that not all of the tools out there allow you to opt-in as in some cases you might be opted-out through no direct action on your part.

LIMITATIONS: As with all cookie-based systems they are susceptible to cookie blockers, changing computers or delete the NAI opt-out cookie.

Global Cookie Managers
These services have emerged as a one-stop shop for consumers.
  1. PrivacyChoice – Very easy to use and includes Yahoo, Bizo, BlueKai, Exelate tabs (definitely easier to use since 2011). Individual publishers can skin this with their ad partners.
  2. Network Advertising Initiaive (NAI) – The industry’s solution and one of the earliest efforts to give consumers control. If you really don’t want ANY display advertising tailored to you, set your opt-out centrally and then get lots of irrelevant ads – enjoy. In 2012, they made it easier to see the opt-in list compared to opt-outs. However, it is easier to opt-out than it is to opt back in.
  3. TrustEWas new in 2011 as an opt-out approach and competitive to NAI. It has more participants than NAI. Not a bad approach but seeing tracking technologies like Adobe Omniture included here is interesting.
  4. PreferenceCentral – Rub by email house Unsubcentral – looks interesting but not sure what control this really provides yet (no change form 2011)
Specific Advertising Provider Preference Managers
The data providers of the world mostly work behind the scenes but have a variety of services for consumers to control their advertising.
  1. Blue Kai – by far the most interesting with a new interface. Plenty of behavioral ad targeting fodder in here. Also, you can really see the presence of offline credit ratings companies busily creating a whole new revenue stream off of you; interesting that because it is just as creepy yet harder to see. Still, Blue Kai stands out as offering a benefit to charities.
  2. Exelate -They changed the URL in 2012 and improved the interface. Offers many interest categories that can are based on behavior but can be edited.
  3. Lotame – New URL! Fairly innocuous interest and sub-interest categories with observed behavior.
  4. Bizo – Known as the B2B player in the digital advertising data business. Nice approach actually.
  5. Safecount –  from the DynamicLogic (WPP) family comes a totally different approach; with no behavioral segments but plenty of ad creative and sites you’ve been to; no interest preferences here. Actually shows you the creative units.
  6. Amazon – pretty simplistic control over personalization of Amazon ads.
  7. Blue Cava – mobile targeting manager. 
  8. RapLeaf – Opt-out and preference manager; associates to an email address.

Major Consumer Portals
Where people get their email 24×7 and store their personal life’s electronic communiques all for free…somebody has to pay for this storage and bandwidth. Thank you advertisers. Note, these email portal systems are more persistent than anonymous cookie-based platforms since they require users to authenticate. At the same time, they tend to be the most advanced.
  1. Google – Comprehensive and interest-based; no observed behavior included (yet). There is also the Google Dashboard. which offers an integrated way to manage all your Google services – including your search history. Must be signed-in.
  2. Microsoft – Another comprehensive list of interests; no observed behavior.
    Must be signed-in.
  3. Yahoo – Offers a fairly deep interest profile; no observed behavior. Their Ad Interest Manager currently only allows 7 category opt-outs – seems like an odd limit on something that makes the advertising more valuable.
  4. AOL – Pretty simplistic; shows what categories you are in but no control here yet.
  5. AT&TNEW! Control panel based on observed interests; a little clunky but editable.
If anyone has any other suggestions for the above list, please comment or drop TOTSB a line!
Also, in case you were looking for a Flash cookie control panel to view and/remove such locally stored objects:

Last, don’t be evil and enjoy your new Google Toilet ™!