A consumer awareness ad campaign, targeted at increasing consumer understanding and empowerment when it comes to online “interest-based advertising”, or Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA), was launched in Greece on 23 July. The ad campaign is being rolled out by EASA’s Greek SRO Member, the Greek Advertising Self-regulation Council (SEE) and IAB Greece, in cooperation with the EDAA (European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance).

The ad campaign, designed in partnership with Mediacom’s Beyond Advertising division, features various creative concepts including a zip, which opens to reveal the blue triangular ‘AdChoices’ icon that has accompanied behavioural ads in Greece and across the EU for over a year.

On clicking the ad, users will be taken to a landing page where they can watch a video, which provides a user-friendly description of 'interest-based advertising'.  Subsequently, users can also click through the youronlinechoices platform where, in simple and user-friendly language, they will be informed of their choices regarding OBA targeting, the advantages of OBA, the ways online advertising supports the sites and services they use, and how they can safeguard their privacy.

In addition, the Greek Advertising Self-regulation Council (SEE), acting within its mandate to uphold Advertising Codes and responsible B2C advertising, has developed an online form to collect and handle consumer complaints regarding OBA practices.

The educational campaign is part of a wider pan-european self-regulatory programme on OBA. The campaign has been designed by one of the world’s largest agencies called Mediacom, based upon a concept developed by a team of students at KH Leuven, Belgium, in a competition run by EACA (European Association of Communications Agencies).

This will be the first time that the campaign is run in a southern European country.  The campaign launched on the 23rd of July and will appear for six weeks on the majority of the publisher-members’ sites of IAB Greece. It has already been rolled out in the UK, Germany and Ireland, with more European markets to follow within 2014.

Oliver Gray, Director General of the EDAA commented, “we are thrilled that Greece now formally launches the self-regulatory system for OBA and will become the first Southern European country to run the consumer awareness campaign”.

Haris Rougas, General Manager of IAB Greece said, “This campaign is one more important step in consumer acceptance of online advertising. We wish to thank our members for supporting this initiative”.

Eleni Donta, General Manager of SEE added: “By offering the tools and the infrastructure, SEE is ready to contribute in the self-regulation of OBA practices, an important endeavour that aims to safeguard the credibility of advertising and to protect the consumer. The market proves once more its trustworthiness through this set of voluntary rules for OBA, this ‘new’ advertising practice.”