Taking stock of 2021 at EDAA

Taking stock of 2021 at EDAA

a blog piece by Alex Macarescu

2022 is nearly upon us. 2021 has been quite a year here at EDAA. Amidst turbulent times, the EDAA has delivered a series of strong resources from which actionable directions for the organisation, Self-Regulation, and indeed the online advertising industry may stem. 2021 has also seen us organise the first hybrid edition of our flagship event, the EDAA Summit, which against all odds, turned out to be a great success and brought together a record number of participants. It’s been a challenging, yet exciting year for our governing associations, our partners, our allies, and the team, but the EDAA has pressed on and persevered. Great things are in store for next year as well, but until then, we invite you to revisit some of the key deliverables and milestones for EDAA in 2021.

EDAA Research Report 2021

At the start of the year, the EDAA released the findings of the 2021 European Advertising Consumer Research Report that it carried out in association with Ipsos Mori. Conducted in 10 European markets, the study showed improvements in terms of AdChoices Icon recognition and interaction, continuing the positive trends from past years. Beyond the auspicious results for the EDAA Self-Regulatory Programme when it comes to consumers, the research also highlighted a number of key takeaways for businesses operating in the digital advertising ecosystem. The mere presence of the AdChoices Icon boosts trust in the brands and websites displaying it, but also in data-driven advertising practices as a whole.

Access the full report here.

EDAA 2020 Activity Report

It was not only the findings of the Research report that cast a warm light on the EDAA Self-Regulatory Programme. Key metrics for the Programmes, such as number of participating companies, Icons delivered, page views and market coverage, remain on an upward curve. The figures highlighted in the EDAA 2020 Activity Report are extremely encouraging for the effectiveness and positive impact of the Programme on all actors in the digital ecosystem.

Browse through or download the report here.


Education is one of the cornerstones of EDAA and an area of focus that will see increasing efforts invested in it in the year(s) to come. Particularly in the wake of a year such as 2020, which saw people flock to the digital medium for both work and leisure, digital literacy is pivotal for a thriving ecosystem. In a panel organised by DMWF and EDAA at the Digital Marketing World Forum Global 2021 we tried to answer the question: could  education be the solution to rebuild trust among consumers?

Watch the recording of the panel here.

EDAA has also continued efforts from 2020 to ensure that as many markets as possible across Europe have access to the key resource developed in collaboration with Media Smart UK. France, Ireland, Hungary, and Romania are just four of the markets that are currently planning to roll out the resource dedicated to teaching young consumers how to get the best and enriching experience out of their time online. More to follow.

Learn more about this free educational resource here.

DSA Fact Sheet

Continuing on the topic of resources released by EDAA, one critical piece in 2021 has been the DSA Fact Sheet. There is still much uncertainty and debate shrouding the legislative package comprised of DSA and the DMA, put forward by the European Commission at the end of 2020. Due to its sheer breadth and profound likely impact for the entire online advertising ecosystem, it’s imperative that organisations, business, and civil society fully grasp not only the regulatory package, but also how the EDAA is ideally positioned to be a part of the discussion, but more importantly, the solution. With a DMA Fact Sheet to follow, the priority for 2021 has been to publish a clear and concise go-to resource dedicated to the Digital Services Act.

Access the DSA Fact Sheet here.

Read the EDAA statement on DSA here.

EDAA 2021: Choices for a better future

The 2021 EDAA Summit: Choices for a better future was an event that brought together industry, regulators, and users in a hybrid format to discuss the future of self-regulation in the online advertising ecosystem. Fostering candid and honest discussion on poignant topics, the 2021 Summit boasted a record number of attendees, with a combined total of over 300 participants. Our sponsors, OneTrust and ABC have proven invaluable in allowing us to deliver a first hybrid edition that sets an indelible foundation on which increasingly better hybrid editions will be erected.  

Reception of the event by attendees was not the only positive. High-praises were laid on the EDAA Self-Regulatory Programme as well and the fine line we are walking between industry and consumers in the pursuit of a digital ecosystem that benefits all actors. To quote just one, Eva Maydell, MEP, EPP said that “alongside strengthened public oversight through democratic processes, there is also a space for some form of industry self-regulation in our future regulatory framework. In this context, I would like to commend the EDAA for the work they have done on advertising choices, and finding the balance between consumers and industry”.

Positive feedback from industry, regulators, and civil society shows us that the Self-regulation path is one worthy of pursuing further. We have our work cut out for us, but the goal is worth it. On November 15 2022, we will be welcoming you to a new edition of our Summit and further discussion on the topics shaping our present and future.

Watch the Summit aftermovie, interviews and browse photos from the event here.

We, at the EDAA, are grateful for all the support from our friends and partners, for the energy and inspiration to push through another difficult year, and look with hope and determination to 2022. Research and education will take center stage alongside Programme developments that aim to further our work and draw the goal of a digital advertising ecosystem that benefits all actors ever nearer.

On a personal note, working with EDAA in 2021 has been an absolute blast. It has taught me what a small, yet very dedicated, team can achieve in delivering relevant, lucid, and actionable resources to an industry that is critical for the global economy.