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BizReport : Advertising archives : December 04, 2009

Ad targeting: IAB launches their first-ever consumer education campaign

Last year, research discovered that consumers found ad targeting "creepy". This week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau launched its first-ever campaign aimed at the public to educate consumers about the workings and benefits of targeted online advertising.

by Helen Leggatt

iab black and red logo.jpgWhen Harris Research polled U.S. consumers as to their views on targeted advertising, many said they felt uncomfortable when online content or advertising was obviously targeted at them.

"What happens is people suddenly realize they've put out enough personal information to get served with a targeted advertisement, and the Web makes the transition from convenience to creepiness," said Colin McKay, of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in Ottawa.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau aims to educate "nearly every online American" about how they are tracked and targeted online so as to assuage consumer fears and concerns. To this end their "Privacy Matters" campaign was developed and rolled out this week.

"The 'Privacy Matters' campaign and website is an example of how the IAB is taking a leadership role in communicating with consumers in plain English about how to manage their privacy online and providing them with the resources to do it," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, in this week's announcement.

As part of the campaign a dedicated area on the main IAB website has been set up to explain to consumers how online marketers track and mine online data. Visitors are encouraged to discuss their views on the topics covered in a specially set up forum.

In addition, the IAB has commitments of more than 500 million online advertising impressions that will run through 2010, with the goal being at least 1 billion impressions served.

"What's most impressive about this campaign is that the media partners and agencies involved in this effort donated their time and resources for free--a testament to their collective commitment to our work to protect consumers and allow digital media to keep transforming the way consumers experience entertainment and information," said Rothenberg.

Tags: ad targeting, behavioral targeting, consumer education, Interative Advertising Bureau

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