Transitioning ‘Ad Choices’ to Mobile Apps

By Travis Pinnick
User Experience Designer | TRUSTe

TRUSTe is preparing to launch an ad preferences offering for mobile apps, which essentially takes the foundation of our Trusted Ads tracker database and applies it to the mobile ecosystem. Unlike the Trusted Ads offering, which uses an ad tag that displays the ‘ad choices’ notice and directs users to the Preference Manager, the mobile offering requires an SDK to be embedded by the app publisher. The SDK can be created by either an app publisher, ad network, or ad network aggregator, and functions by storing a user preference which is associated with a revokable device ID, an app ID, and one or more ad network IDs.

View demo of the various implementation options »

Publisher Implementation

The publisher version of the SDK has a number of options regarding how the preference manager mechanism is invoked. The publisher can include an option to set preferences in the app settings, in a first time user alert, or anywhere else the publisher deems appropriate.

Ad Network Implementation

The ‘ad choices’ in-ad tag approach is the only preference manager invocation option for ad network SDKs, since the ad network only has access to in-ad content. Unfortunately the ‘ad choices’ ad tag doesn’t translate well to mobile ads, as it’s about 15 x 15px (the smallest recommended clickable icon size for mobile is 40 x 40px), but anything bigger will dwarf the ad content in an already limited ad unit space.

A potential solution is having the ad tag be a static part of the ad content, and moving the actual invocation mechanism to the frame of the full page ad the user sees after clicking the ad and being taken to an in-app web view. It requires the user to actually open the ad to access the preference manager, but it’s still a viable solution for ad network SDKs, especially considering the lack of alternate locations.

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