Understanding
Online Advertising

WHAT IS IT?

Online Advertising is a broad term used to describe the paid advertising that publishers put on their websites to enable them to provide you content and services for free. But what most people hear about is a specific type of online advertising that is tailored to your likely interests by companies promoting their products or services. This is known as Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) or Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA).

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HOW DOES IT WORK?

With Interest-Based Advertising, NAI member companies help advertisers show relevant ads -- matching ads with broad interest categories or groups like "male clothing shoppers ages 25-34" or "car buyers in Illinois."

NAI members distinguish between visitors to a site, assigning them to broad interest category groups using information such as the types of websites or pages visited. For NAI members, Interest-Based Advertising is not about you as an identifiable individual. 

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HOW DOES IT BENEFIT ME?

There are numerous benefits to Interest-Based Advertising including:

  • Keeping content and services free
  • Providing content and ads that are better matched to your interests
  • Fewer intrusive or annoying ads
  • Helping businesses better serve you

Interest-Based Advertising also plays an integral role in driving economic growth and encouraging competition among companies.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Interest-Based Advertising helps support sites you visit so that you can enjoy free content from news to sports scores to recipes. At the same time, Interest-Based Advertising helps advertisers reach the right people for their product/services.

You, as a consumer, have several choices to control the collection and use of information about your web browsing activities. You are in the driver’s seat.

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IP Address

An IP address is just that: an address.  You may have seen one before. It would look like something this: 198.101.218.235. This is how computers are able to identify each other and know where to send information over the Internet. in general, your computer or other device is assigned an IP address from the network you are using, and that's then used to send the website data back to your web browser. Your computer's IP address may change over time or as you change locations.