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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 17, 2009

Citibank slips ads into online credit card statements

According to a recent article from ClickZ's Kate Kaye, targeted ads have been showing up on Citibank customers' online credit card statements.

by Helen Leggatt

Businesses have to be increasingly innovative in the current tough economic climate, and some are finding new vehicles to get ads to consumers. The latest place for an ad to pop up is alongside entries on credit card statements, reports ClickZ.

According to Citi Cards EVP Liza Landsman, the offers being displayed are "primarily merchant discounts and promotions and supplemental financial services offerings". The examples offered by ClickZ demonstrate that ads are clearly targeted to the consumer's card activity. For instance, a consumer who made a purchase at a Sirius Satellite Radio was presented with a Sony product delivery offer, while another was shown a discount offer for Best Bath Store alongside a debit to a New York spa.

Some in the marketing industry believe the tactic is the result of innovation borne of the need to create maximum value and relevance. Others believe it is irresponsible to encourage impulse spending.

"While we understand the relevance of targeting consumers who are very likely purchasers, we feel that in this current economy it's poor taste to encourage impulse spending while someone is checking their credit card statement or paying down their account," said Justin Gomolka, CEO of Best Bath Store.

Tags: Citibank, ClickZ, credit card, statements, targeted ads

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