Halal Advertising in the World of Privacy and Compliance

Halal Advertising in the World of Privacy and Compliance

A Halal Advertising Paradigm Shift is Here

Digital privacy has witnessed substantial growth in prominence in the last half-decade. Many advertisers find themselves torn between their opinions regarding privacy and their actions to safeguard it. Some do care deeply about the issue but prefer someone else to handle it. As Muslim marketing and advertising practitioners or as Muslim brand owners we should hold up the Islamic Advertising Principles and seek to become champions of the privacy of our audiences. There is thus a tremendous potential for your halal brand to demonstrate its understanding and commitment to the privacy concerns of Muslim consumers, especially in the context of halal advertising in the new wave of the web.

Google and Ipsos Findings

Digital privacy and halal advertising.

Recent research by Google and Ipsos shows that when brands deliver a robust privacy experience, it leads to increased brand preference, trust, and advertising effectiveness. The crux of the matter lies in offering meaningful choices to users regarding their data, respecting those choices, and providing them with opportunities for review. This approach not only fosters positive sentiments towards the brand but also aligns well with the values associated with halal brands.

Our new research shows that when customers feel in control of their data, they experience significant increases in trust and brand preference.

Source: Google/Ipsos, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, U.K., Privacy by design: the benefits of putting people in control…

Surprisingly, despite the significance of privacy to Muslim consumers, there is often a reflexive acceptance of terms and conditions without much contemplation. This widespread tendency has brought about a substantial transformation in the advertising industry’s approach to data.

Crucial Pivotal Shifts

Two pivotal shifts have reshaped the digital advertising landscape, especially in the context of halal brands. Firstly, there has been a departure from conventional audience targeting towards leveraging machine learning-driven technologies within ad platforms to connect with increasingly relevant individuals within the Muslim consumer segment. This transition necessitates a focus on customer data and its potential for predicting success.

Secondly, there is a growing emphasis on personally identifiable information (PII), such as real names and email addresses. Although this may seem less private on the surface, the crucial distinction lies in the fact that PII is only accessible when voluntarily shared by users. This shift towards data ownership and consent resonates with the principles of halal advertising, where transparency and user control are highly valued.

In light of this heightened focus on user identity and privacy, halal advertisers should strive to deepen their understanding of the Muslim consumer segment and devise strategies that resonate with their values, aligning perfectly with the principles of halal advertising.

Muslim Brands Should Expect Apple to Become the Biggest Player in Advertising

Apple at the Forefront of Privacy

The catalyst for the transformation to a more private and compliant internet can be traced back to the revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013 about PRISM

PRISM is a code name for a program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from various U.S. internet companies…

Source: Wikipedia

Interestingly, during that period, Apple was scarcely associated with these revelations. This presented a unique opportunity for Apple to position itself as a differentiated brand that values privacy, a position that has since become synonymous with privacy. This strategic move by Apple has had a profound impact on the industry, with consumers, including those of the Muslim faith, contributing by continuing to show loyalty to the brand.

Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) has played a pivotal role in urging the industry to rethink its reliance on cookies. As digital advertising evolves, the lines between online and offline marketing continue to blur. With the ever-expanding capabilities of AI in predicting consumer behavior, advertisers are increasingly adopting comprehensive, full-funnel strategies, as is the case when targeting Muslim consumers and promoting halal brands.

Furthermore, according to experts Apple is poised to become a major player in the advertising landscape, particularly in the US, throughout this decade. Their strategic move which includes the implementation of AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) changes, has reshaped the industry.

ATT changes have allowed users to control how apps track their behavior, resulting in a significant reduction in user opt-ins for tracking. This move disrupted Meta’s mobile app install business, diverting advertising dollars towards Apple’s ecosystem.

Apple’s strength lies in its measurement capabilities. With complete visibility into iOS user activity, Apple can provide robust measurement solutions, a critical factor in attracting ad budgets.

While Meta, Google, and Amazon rely on personalized ads, Apple’s approach leans towards broader audience segmentation while maintaining its privacy-focused stance. Their ability to prove performance with transaction data makes them a formidable candidate for industry dominance.

Apple’s expansion into advertising in streaming TV, coupled with acquisitions of sports rights and successful series on Apple TV+, positions them as a promising player in this arena. They are also exploring the creation of a demand-side platform (DSP) for ad inventory.
Looking ahead, Apple may venture into the search engine market, posing a challenge to Google. According to Insider Intelligence, if Apple can maintain higher-quality organic search results with a more modest ad load, it could potentially capture market share from Google.

Tips for a Successful Transition to Privacy and Privacy and Compliance

Mitigate the Risks That AI Brings to Your Halal Brand’s Compliance

In the marketing realm, AI, particularly large language models like ChatGPT, offers considerable potential but also presents notable risks. Here are three key insights for Muslim brand marketers to keep in mind when using AI that may help mitigate the risk of privacy and compliance breaches:

Thoughtful AI Integration: AI, including LLMs, can be powerful tools for short-form marketing content, but they have their limitations. The pursuit of speed and scalability can sometimes result in inaccuracies or even fabricated content. Maintaining human oversight remains essential to ensure content quality. Your halal brand must grasp where and how AI can be most effective to avoid potential pitfalls.

Read our article that delves into this issue further: “Avoiding ChatGPT Pitfalls From a Halal Marketing and Advertising Perspective”.

Transparency in Decision-Making: The inherent opacity of AI decision-making poses significant risks. Halal brands should aim for transparency in explaining how and why AI-driven decisions are made. This transparency is crucial to prevent biases from influencing marketing strategies. Brands need a deep understanding of their AI models to uphold ethical practices.

In our article, “Islam and Ethics of AI Advertising – Part 1”  we discussed the ethical issues concerning using AI and potential solutions and frameworks to mitigate AI risks and dilemmas from an Islamic perspective. In part two we delved further into the implementation of those solutions and frameworks.

AI as an Enhancement: Not a replacement for data practices. AI is a potent tool, but its effectiveness relies on the quality of data. Brands still require robust first-party data, clear identity frameworks, and a comprehensive understanding of their customer base. AI can enhance predictive capabilities, but it should never replace the foundational principles of marketing. Effective marketing will always hinge on maintaining high-quality data practices.

In the era of AI-driven marketing, brands must strike a harmonious balance between leveraging the technology’s potential and ensuring ethical, transparent, and data-focused marketing strategies.

Capitalize on Privacy and Compliance for Stronger Personalization

With consumers increasingly taking control of their online data and privacy, your halal brand can capitalize on the advanced privacy tools and stringent regulations. 

According to Marigold’s Global Consumer Trends Index 2023, 49% of global consumers are annoyed by irrelevant ads, 32% dislike messages that ignore their history, and 35% are put off by messages based on unshared information. This indicates a growing dissatisfaction with intrusive advertising practices that privacy regulations aim to curb.

The solution lies in transforming customer communications. Personalized messaging is the key to addressing privacy concerns and improving marketing effectiveness. The Index also reveals that 93% of consumers are willing to share personal data for discounts, followed by loyalty rewards (91%), early access to products (86%), prize opportunities (83%), community benefits (59%), and valuable content (51%).

With these stats in mind, the opportunity to leverage zero-party data and first-party data seems enormous. Your halal brand must seize the opportunity. If you are unsure what this entails, read our article: “Zero-party Data for Muslim Brands

The issue isn’t abolishing outdated data collection methods but enhancing the user experience. Muslim brands and halal marketers should focus on gathering zero and first-party data through engaging experiences on their own platforms. This data includes demographics, behavior, psychographics, and sociographics.

Leveraging zero-party data enables the creation of targeted segments throughout the customer lifecycle, enhancing personalization efforts and marketing effectiveness. This approach identifies consumer preferences, optimizes targeting, and tailors messages for improved outcomes.

In essence, personalized messaging based on willingly provided data from engaging experiences represents better marketing. Instead of reacting to increased compliance regulations as a setback, view it as proactive preparation for the future.


There is no doubt about it, the future of digital marketing and advertising is changing. Make sure your halal brand stays ahead of the curve by reconsidering your data strategy before others modify their approach.

This is an excellent opportunity to better understand what your Muslim audience wants and give it to them. Data privacy has both restrictions and opportunities and, although this might appear as a hindrance at first, the potential it opens up for productive dialogue between your halal brand and Muslim consumers is endless. 

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