SAN FRANCISCO: Given the choice of categories about which they would like to receive digital ads, consumers generally reject auto and finance brands in favour of travel and health, new research has revealed.

Launching a new product that enables consumers to share and manage details of their interests directly with advertisers, TRUSTe, the data privacy management company, reported the findings of three months of field tests, with both ad exchanges and demand-side platforms, in which 90% of consumers had chosen to share their interests.

Of these, half had selected multiple interests, with 80% of them selecting both categories of interests they liked and disliked.

The top five categories consumers chose to receive ads about were technology, games, news, travel and health. The five most common categories they chose not to receive ads about were dating, auto, career, finance and education.

TRUSTe also cited independent research from Ipsos MORI among 2,000 US consumers which found that 39% would share their interests directly with advertisers if it meant receiving ads tailored to those interests.

And nearly half (48%) would be willing to do this if the advertiser's privacy policy was certified by a third party privacy organisation. Having shared their interests with advertisers, 38% agreed they would be less likely to opt out of targeted ads and 32% agreed they would be more likely to click on ads.

TRUSTe's position is that consumers should be able to control their digital experience and protect their privacy without having to become experts in cookies or tracking technologies.

"Enabling consumers to share their interests directly with advertisers has the potential to revolutionise the ad industry, addressing consumer and regulatory privacy concerns while putting consumers in control over their advertising experience and enabling advertisers to deliver more relevant ads,” said Chris Babel, CEO at TRUSTe.

Data sourced from TRUSTe; additional content by Warc staff