Understanding Online Advertising

All advertising seeks to target the right products to the right audience at the right time.

The revenue generated from targeted advertising makes it possible for companies to provide the content and services that you utilize each time you’re on the internet. Social media, news, weather, retail sites – all these examples rely on advertising dollars to keep their services going.

Most online ads are not targeted to you as an individual, but rather to data categories – such as your demographics (probable age, gender), interests (automobiles, travel, etc.), location, or online surfing habits through your browser.

The websites you visit work with online advertising companies to provide you with advertising that is as relevant and as useful as possible.

What Is Online Interest-Based Advertising?

Online interest-based advertising, which is also sometimes called “online behavioural advertising”, uses information collected across multiple websites that you visit to predict your preferences and to show you ads that are most likely to be of interest to you.

You can learn a great deal more about interest-based advertising and the AdChoices program in our extensive FAQ section. You can also review a variety of explanatory videos and find even more information by visiting the following sites:

What is the Icon and What Does It Tell Me about Online Interest-Based Advertising?

A central element of the Canadian AdChoices program is the clickable “icon” placed in or around online advertisements that links users to information about online interest-based advertising. When the icon is clicked, the consumer is able to identify the companies involved in serving such ads to them, and see a description of each company’s data collection and use practices.


What Are Your Choices?

This website serves as the home of a consumer opt-out page that allows you to manage your preferences for online interest-based advertising.

Opt-Out Tool

To manage your preferences for online interest-based advertising, please visit the opt-out page.

Visit the Tool

Understanding Cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your hard drive when you visit some websites. Cookies generally collect and store information that is associated with your web browser, including information such as website preferences, login information, or a user ID.

Our FAQ section provides helpful information for you to learn all about cookies and how they are used – as they are not just used for advertising.

Browser Controls

Most modern web browsers contain extensive controls that give you the ability to make choices about your privacy. Among other things, these controls enable you to block or limit cookies.

Start with these sites to learn more about your browser’s privacy controls:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We strongly encourage consumers who visit this webpage to discover more about online advertising and the AdChoices program through our extensive FAQ section.

The AdChoices icon is shown to notify you when data is collected or used for interest-based advertising. Now that you know this, are you more comfortable with advertising that displays the icon?

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Submit a Complaint

If you believe that you have witnessed a practice or an ad that may violate the self-regulatory principles for online interest-based advertising, you can report it here. Complaints may be submitted by consumers, companies, and organizations.