Thursday, July 22, 2010

Web Users Demand Control over Ad Targeting

Internet users have been sending mixed messages about their attitudes toward targeted ads: They sometimes say they appreciate the relevance targeting brings; they sometimes indicate they would be willing to provide personal information to facilitate targeting; and they also report concerns about advertisers and publishers having too much data.

While some of these mixed messages suggest consumers may be confused about online privacy and what behavioral targeting entails, research from online ad preference management provider PreferenceCentral calls into question whether consumer education is a solution for marketers.

Asked if they would prefer to pay for content, view targeted advertisements in exchange for free content, or receive limited free content supported by untargeted ads, 58% of US internet users chose targeted ads. But their willingness to receive those types of ads decreased after they became more educated about how behavioral targeting worked.

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