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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 05, 2009

TRUSTe: Concerns about behavioral targeting decreasing

More consumers know their online behavior is being tracked, yet less find it unnerving, according to a new study from TRUSTe.

by Helen Leggatt

truste logo.jpgThe recently published "Behavioral Targeting Survey Report" from TRUSTe found that 69% of Internet users were aware that their online behavior was being monitored and it seems they are getting used to the idea. Last year, 57% of those surveyed found behavioral targeting disturbing while this year that figure has dropped to just over half (51%).

"One surprise is that over the last 12 months, consumers are actually increasing in comfort about it," said TRUSTe VP of Strategic Partnerships and Programs Colin O'Malley. "People still remain concerned, but over time, as awareness increases, discomfort decreases."

Despite the collection of behavioral data, Internet users don't seem to be benefiting from more relevant ads. Almost 84% of those surveyed said that less than 25% of ads they see are relevant to them. Nearly three-quarters (72%) cited that online advertising is intrusive and annoying when ads held no relevance to their requirements.

The message to advertisers? The more relevant and less intrusive the ads presented, the less likely Internet users are to complain. In addition, says the report, a straightforward dialogue with consumers is needed to ensure doubt and suspicion are kept at bay.

Tags: behavioral targeting, online advertising, online behavior, relevant ads, TRUSTe

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