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BizReport : Advertising archives : July 26, 2011

TRUSTe: Consumers remain suspicious of online behavorial advertising

Most consumers are now aware of online behavioral advertising, but are they happier to be tracked? A new survey from Internet security firm TRUSTe reveals consumer trust levels and perceptions surrounding online behavioral advertising.

by Helen Leggatt

trustelogo.jpgWhile 70% of consumers surveyed by TRUSTe said they were familiar with the "concept" of online behavioral advertising, it seems they aren't too au fait with the finer details.

Despite the fact that most websites don't share personally identifying information, such as name and contact information, many consumers continue to believe that's the case.

TRUSTe's survey found 40% believe websites they have registered with have shared their name with advertisers without their consent; 43% believe their location is being shared and 30% think their contact information is being passed on.

Perhaps because of these suspicions over half (57%) said they would likely not agree to have their online browsing activity tracked, even if it meant they would be presented with more relevant ads.

It seems a little consumer education and transparency on the part of advertisers could go a long way. When consumers are assured their personally identifying information is not being used to target ads their attitude towards targeted online advertising changes dramatically. TRUSTe's survey revealed a "100% increase in favorability toward targeted online advertising" once a consumer's trust had been gained.

"TRUSTe's findings demonstrate why it's important for advertisers to assume responsibility for educating consumers about how targeted online advertising works and how they benefit from receiving relevant ads," said Mike Dean, President of Experian Consumer Direct.

"Online advertising helps support the free Internet content that consumers want, expect and demand - content such as news, search, email, weather reports, stock quotes, social media and the like."

Tags: ad targeting, consumer tracking, online advertising, online behavioral advertising, online marketing, online tracking

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