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BizReport : Advertising archives : December 22, 2010


Web users say targeted advertising not justified

As discussion surrounding Do Not Track and behaviorally targeted ads continues, new research has surfaced that shows most consumers don't think targeted advertising is justified, even if they do get free access to content in return.

by Helen Leggatt

We recently reported on analysis from Better Advertising that came to the conclusion consumers, when given the option to opt-out of targeted advertising, choose not to.

New insights from a poll conducted by Gallup and USA Today appear to contradict Better Advertising's findings.

The poll found that while the vast majority claimed to pay little or no attention to online advertising, 61% did admit to having seen ads they felt were directly targeted at them based on their browsing history - and they don't like it.

In fact, almost 70% are opposed to behaviorally targeted ads and believe them to be unjustified. Nearly as many (61%) said that behaviorally targeted ads aren't even justified if it means they can access online content free of charge.

Ultimately, consumers want more control. If given a choice, just under half of respondents said they would accept targeted ads from networks specifically chosen by themselves. Thirty-seven percent said if they had the option they wouldn't allow any ad networks to target them.






Tags: Behavioral targeting, online advertising








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  • Anonymous

    Just stumbled upon this article while trying to get more information on why Yahoo! Groups would re-decide to embed ads in Web postings among group members. (As if the banner and sidebar ads aren't enough!)

    On top of its being plunked in the middle of a message, I now have to look at the same insurance ad over and over and over again--one for a company I already have insurance with. So now I've become interested in "targeted" ads in general, as in who on Earth would assume/presume this is an effective way to reach consumers?

    First, I am indeed offended that someone is following me around and then taking a stab at what I might be interested in. But this is largely because they're doing it so badly. So it's the second aspect I find more irritating (and amusing, truth be told). I'm being targeted with ads not "based" upon what I've shown an interest in. Instead, it's *exactly* what I've shown an interest in, meaning the ads are for the very companies I've already decided for or against. I'm rolling my eyes at a case-in-point ad on this very Web site!

    I am peppered with about a dozen different non-opportunities at almost every Web site I visit. Why should I look at them? I already avail myself of the goods or services of about eight of them. The remaining several are services or whatever that I looked into and decided weren't for me--those exact companies--no variations, no other choices. LOL! I can ignore them all completely (or try to), for either reason.

    So until this science's processes are refined a bit, these ads are nothing more than annoying. That can't possibly be what a vendor wants. To be effective, there should be an "other customers bought..." or a "similar items are..." approach, such as what's used within a product search at some sites. IOW, the ads should be competitive, rather than supportive. After all, if I visited Company A's website, then one can, and should, assume I made a decision, one way or the other. Now show me what Company B and Company C offer. Do *not* keep showing me Company A!





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