How does the BBC use cookies for advertising?

Page updated: 15 April 2019

The BBC shows advertising on its website and apps to users outside the UK. We use the income to help fund BBC services and keep the licence fee, paid by UK households, lower than it otherwise would be.

We try our utmost, using sophisticated technology, to make sure that the advertising is only visible to people outside the UK, but if you are viewing the website from within the UK and you can see advertising, please use this form to let us know as soon as possible.

If you've seen what you believe to be inappropriate advertising on our online services, please read this FAQ for advice

Does the BBC use my data to personalise the adverts shown to me?

Only if the service you are using contains advertising.

If you are in the UK and using the Licence Fee funded website and apps, these services do not contain advertising and your data will not be used for advertising purposes. If you are using our services outside the UK, or you are using another commercially funded BBC website or app, we and our advertising partners may collect and analyse data about your device (e.g. your IP address and cookie IDs) and your use of our services (e.g. what articles you read).

The companies that we and our advertisers use to tailor and deliver advertising to you may also collect data from you across other online services. This data helps us and our advertisers to predict what might interest you and to show you adverts tailored to those interests. This is commonly known as Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) or interest-based advertising. Not all of the advertising we show is tailored based on your data and your interests. We also tailor our adverts based on the content you are viewing, contextual advertising; for example if you are reading an article about travel then we might show you ads for airlines.

We use OBA to help us to improve your experience of our online services by showing you fewer, more relevant ads. It also means we can get more value from our advertisers allowing us to invest more in great content.

Cross-Device Tracking

Your browsing activity may be tracked across different websites and different devices or apps. If you are not signed in to a web service, we may attempt to match your browsing activity on one device, such as your laptop, with your browsing activity on another device, such as your smartphone, so that we can improve the relevance of the advertising delivered to you.

To do this our technology partners may share data, such as your browsing patterns, geo-location and device identifiers, and will match the information of the browser and devices that appear to be used by the same person.

Other data sources

We may also use interest and demographic data from data specialists to help us to better predict what might interest you. And we also buy ad space on other websites where we may deliver ads to you. We don’t store any information about your browsing activity on those websites when we do this. Sometimes our advertisers use their own marketing data to target you with advertising campaigns on BBC websites. So you may see advertising based on things you’ve viewed on other websites and other information they have collected about you. They don’t share this information with us.

Find out more...

The advertising industry has developed a number of consumer and business initiatives in Europe, the US and other regions. These initiatives include best practice principles for businesses involved in advertising, consumer guides to OBA and opt-out tools.

European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA)
Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)
Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)

How do BBC advertising partners and advertisers use cookies?

Our advertising is delivered to you through our approved specialist advertising partners. The cookies accompanying the ads allow them and our advertisers to monitor the effectiveness of the ads. Our Advertisers and their agents may also use cookies that they have set on your device when you were browsing other websites. They do this so that they know you have seen a particular advert or to match you with their database. This helps them to do things like cap how many adverts you see across the internet and, if you have taken part in market research, the research company may record that you have seen a particular advert.

Any company we allow to add tags or code to our website is vetted to ensure that they handle your data responsibly. However, their use of the data is within their control and is subject to their own privacy practices (see below a list of our key advertising partners). We take reasonable measures to protect our users’ data and ensure that it is used in-line with our policies. For example, by using advertising technology partners that actively participate in self-regulatory frameworks (such as the EDAA, DAA or NAI) and by contractually restricting how browsing data from our services may be used. We also run third party auditing services on our site to detect malware and nefarious cookies.

Our Key Advertising Partners

Our key advertising partners are listed below. These companies are under contract to the BBC but the data they collect will also be subject to their privacy policies and they may allow other companies to use cookies and tracking technologies to collect information about your website usage and your interaction with their adverts. Click on their name to find out more and to opt-out from your data being used by them for OBA purposes.

Ad trading, ad serving and targeting

Google DoubleClick, AdSense and AdWords
Index Exchange
Juice Mobile
OpenX
Rubicon Project
TripleLift
Videology

Data management & cross-device tracking

Lotame

Ad measurement and data partner

DataXu

In-email advert targeting

LiveIntent

Content recommendations (behaviour-based)

Outbrain

How can I opt-out?

If at any time you do not want information about your browsing behaviour to be used for the purposes of delivering advertising to you on this website, you can "opt out" as described below. You can also opt-out with the links provided above.
If you do choose to opt-out you will continue to see adverts but they may be less relevant to you as they will not be tailored to your interests

Change your browser settings

You can prevent your browsing from being tracked generally by adjusting your browser settings, browsing in ‘private mode’ or using browser add-ons. You can find out how to do this by visiting the relevant support page for your browser, or by using the help function on your browser: 

Apple Safari
Google Chrome
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Mozilla Firefox
Opera browser

Ad Choices tools for web browsers

You can opt-out from targeted advertising on this website and more generally across the internet using the opt-out tools of ad industry bodies, including:

European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA)
Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)
Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)

Ad choices for mobile applications

If you are accessing BBC services though the web browser on your mobile device, you should follow the instructions above. However, mobile applications use different technologies to recognise your device. To opt out of your app usage data being used to target advertising within apps you should follow the instructions below.

Apple iOS
1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Advertising.
2. Turn on Limit Ad Tracking.
Visit the Apple support page for more information.

Google Android
1. Go to Settings.
2. Select Google in the Accounts section.
3. Select Ads in the Privacy section.
4. Tick Opt out of interest based ads.
Visit the Google support page for more information.

Microsoft Windows
1. Go to Settings.
2. Tap on Privacy.
3. Tap on Advertising ID, and turn off Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps
Visit the Microsoft support page for more information.

Contact us

Please contact the Data Protection team at BBC Studios if you would like more information.

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