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Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads 404

Posted by timothy
from the might-prefer-them-to-endless-tampon-ads-though dept.
itwbennett writes "A survey by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California Berkeley School of Law and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania finds that US residents do not want to receive Web advertising tailored to their interests. 66% of those surveyed said they don't want tailored, or targeted, online ads and when asked if online ad vendors should deliver targeted ads by tracking customers' behavior across multiple Web sites, 86% of the 1,000 respondents said no. 35% of respondents said executives of companies that use personal information illegally should face jail time, and 18% said those companies should be put out of business. 'While privacy advocates have lambasted behavioral targeting for tracking and labeling people in ways they do not know or understand, marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible,' the study said. 'In high percentages, [US residents] stand on the side of privacy advocates.'"
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Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads

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  • And.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 (980931) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:02PM (#29609383)

    Do you think the Marketers give a rats ass?

    • Re:And.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:11PM (#29609509)

      Do you think the Marketers give a rats ass?

      Nope, and neither will consumers if advertisers can get something like this going under the radar. They'll just get used to it, like so many other things.

      • Re:And.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by religious freak (1005821) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:55PM (#29610061)
        I'd go further and say consumers actually DO want this (i.e. the benefits it provides) - but just won't admit it.
        • Re:And.... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Korin43 (881732) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:11PM (#29610247) Homepage
          I'd like it if advertisers would allow us to give them information that they can work with. I mean.. I told Hulu that I'm a 20-something guy. You'd think they'd realize I'm not worried about my "inadequate lashes" or wrinkles..
          • Re:And.... (Score:5, Funny)

            by ae1294 (1547521) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:41PM (#29610631) Journal

            I told Hulu that I'm a 20-something guy. You'd think they'd realize I'm not worried about my "inadequate lashes" or wrinkles..

            You didn't mention that you where a member of slashdot did you???

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by martas (1439879)
            true. personally, i'd gladly welcome targeted advertising under the following conditions:

            1) complete transparency of the way personal data is used that is subjected to scrutiny to make sure advertisers are adhering to their privacy policies (and, of course, some limits on what those policies can allow them to do)
            2) targeted advertisements that actually do a good job, for god's sake! i'll tell them anything they want - age, sex, occupation, movies i've seen over past 2 months, even the number of times i'
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by RyoShin (610051)

            You get that a lot, too? I honestly don't see why that's so hard for Hulu OR the leash company to understand.

            This is why I think the surveys are wrong: while people don't like ads in general, they dislike ads that are unrelated to them more. Sure, targeted ads take a bit of information, but nothing I'd consider personal (age, sex, basic interests like games, clothes, movies, cooking, etc.). I'll ignore most ads, but it's far less of a nuisance if they at least feature explosions more often.

            Last week I was

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by apoc.famine (621563)

            It's a slippery slope, but I do wonder why advertisers don't at least put a "I won't buy this ever" button on ads. If you click it, you don't see an ad for that for a year or so. They then show you something else. It's not like there's a tiny pool of things to advertise to you.
             
            It's not truly targeted, but it would help cut down on missing your target audience completely. Of course it would be abused, but you might actually be able to collect some really useful data that way.

        • Ok, have you -not- seen the targeted ads on Facebook? Most either say *insert exact age here* year olds needed for *insert testing for some believable product*, Or use your relationship status to do "Meet singles in your area", or other crappy spam. None of it is relevant. Ok, sure, perhaps it might be nice if it said "X band is coming to *insert town here* on *insert date that the concert was* reserve tickets now!" because that would be useful, but instead it either recommends bands that aren't even simila
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Facebook is not a good example of what targeted ads should be. Google targets ads (though I do have problems with some of their ads, but in general they are OK. Hopefully in about 5 years or so they will get good enough that I will actually click on them when I see them). Facebook targets spam.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bit01 (644603)

          I'd go further and say consumers actually DO want this (i.e. the benefits it provides) - but just won't admit it.

          "Targeting" means that 2 ads in 10,000 is "useful" instead of 1 ad in 10,000. "Targeting" is a scam, just one way marketers try to rationalize their pathetic, parasitic existence.

          ---

          Marketing = information pollution.

        • Re:And.... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Requiem18th (742389) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:53PM (#29610767)

          BULLSHIT for 2 reasons

          Firstly, targeted ads won't make people more happy because they hate ads, period. The fact the ads are irrelevant just gives them more ammunition to complain about them but they'd still zap them if the can even if they are targeted.

          Secondly, ads are bad for consumers, (revenue not withstanding). I know this will be hard to get into some mind sets.

          Unlike genuine recommendations, or impartial review sites and product guides, ads are meant to either

          a) Make you buy a product you do not need or down right should not buy
          or...
          b) Make you choose a brand of a product you do need under false assumptions or wrong reasons.

          That sometimes you actually need to buy the product and that at least one brand is actually the best for you does not make them more honest, they are biased and should not be advising you which things to buy.

          Targeted ads are actually worse because they are more likely to trap you. This is specially obvious in the case where only the ad content is personally targeted not the product itself, example. Selling Pepsi to white adults using pop and using hip-hop for black kids (or kids in general). Since the targeted ad advertises the same product it's obvious that the only difference is the effectiveness to make you buy a drink you don't need.

          Do I see no room for ads in the world?

          Not at all, they are an excellent revenue source. As a consumer I want advertises to pay for ads, but as a consumer and a citizen I can only advise you to ignore them the best you can because they are never good for you.

          Since the content of ads is best ignored whether they are targeted or not is irrelevant, the fact that you are being tracked, however, is not. Therefore targeted ads are a net loss for you and for the whole of society.

          A case could be made that targeted ads are more valuable and thus advertisers will pay more for them, but this is mostly false, advertisers are not so much paying more for targeted ads as they are paying less for non targeted ones, if no ads are targeted the price of non targeted ads will rise.

          One could further argue that since targeted ads are more likely to trap consumers, advertisers are more likely to profit and thus keep paying for ads but this is false too, the price of an ad is mostly driven by competition among product producers, as long as producers have to compete they'll buy ads.

          I don't have hopes to convincing you, you probably are a glass house advocate.

        • Re:And.... (Score:5, Funny)

          by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @05:12PM (#29611041)

          I'd go further and say consumers actually DO want this (i.e. the benefits it provides) - but just won't admit it.

          AKA the rapist defense. She said no, but we both knew she really wanted it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dcollins (135727)

          I'll say this: Slashdot is the only place that I ever see anyone praising/welcoming targeted ads, and I'm always mystified by it. For example, when I informed my college computer class just today that Google scans their searches, gmail, etc., for content to serve them targeted ads, the response was uniformly outright horror. Most people both (1) loathe ads, and (2) loathe the idea of companies tracking their behavior, so why anyone would expect them to like both at the same time is beyond me.

          • Re:And.... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by cerberusss (660701) on Friday October 02, 2009 @05:47AM (#29614935) Homepage Journal

            When I informed my college computer class just today that Google scans their searches, gmail, etc., for content to serve them targeted ads, the response was uniformly outright horror.

            Well, half of these people [adwork.com] don't even know the difference between paid apps and normal search engine results. So while they display their utmost horror to you, they also do not care to inform themselves about it.

          • Re:And.... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 02, 2009 @07:58AM (#29615309) Journal
            There's a difference between the effect and the mechanism. I like the idea of targeted ads, but not how they are currently generated. I would like to be able to broadcast some public information saying 'I am currently in the market for a product in category X' and have companies that produce products in this category solicit my business. I do not want companies collecting information about me and using this to spam me with potentially relevant things.
    • Re:And.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:11PM (#29609513) Journal

      And if customers are going to get some ads, targeted are a way better - atleast its some interest to them then. Just aslong as the advertisement platforms dont break privacy too much. On that note, i'm not worried about Google's AdSense, but rather about their Analytics code being all over the web (which is *designed* to gather all the possible info about users)

      • Re:And.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MrMr (219533) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:18PM (#29609625)
        targeted are a way better - atleast its some interest to them
        That's a common mistake, the problem is the targetting always seems to work like this:
        Hey you bought a PC yesterday; so you're in the PC buying demographic; so we'll serve you a dozen ads for the last thing you will need for the next couple of years...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gnick (1211984)

          That's not necessarily how it works - At least not if the folks serving ads are worth their salt.

          "Hey, you bought a motherboard yesterday - Do you need a graphics card?"
          "Hey, you bought a DVD player yesterday - Would you like a Netflix subscription?"
          "Hey, you bought a tent yesterday - Would you like a lantern?"

          It's slightly more complicated than "Sell PCs to the guy who buys PCs," but it's not rocket surgery.

      • by Znork (31774)

        atleast its some interest to them then.

        If it were perfectly targeted. yes. The trouble is, a system that can figure out what the viewer wants would figure out that what the viewer wants is to continue doing whatever they were doing, which, in many cases, was not watching ads or shopping.

        Of course, that means that the only place it actually makes sense (for most companies) to place advertisements are price comparison, consumer info and shopping sites, which in turn creates somewhat of a problem for newspaper

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aywwts4 (610966)

        Indeed, everyone including the original article has a strong bias against targetd adds, but lets ask the question in a different way. They asked would you like this concept, the proper method would have been to do a blind trial, show untargeted ads to one group, show targeted ads to another, and quiz them on their annoyance rating, all ads are annoyances, its the tradeoff for free content, some much much more annoying than others. Something tells me the results would be the opposite of this studies findings

    • Re:And.... (Score:5, Funny)

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    • Re:And.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by ari_j (90255) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:41PM (#29609905)
      Marketers absolutely do care about this information. Now, they only have to figure out what types of ads to target to people who don't want targeted ads, and they can make billions.
    • Ads or not, requirement for me to spend my cash is easy. As long as the product is good and cheap. That's why i use services such as slickdeals or woot. Yes, given the incentive, we actually go out of our way and find ads. What these people don't understand is the fact human beings are hunter/gatherer since the ancient times. We look for what we want, and when we get it better and cheaper, it gives us a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, if it is simply dished in front of us, we'll just brush it of

    • Of course they don't care. While consumers give the obvious answer that they don't like things more targeted, the unfortunate truth is that these ads are more effective. Just ask anybody who runs contextual ads. If it performs better than people will continue to use it, period.

  • Um, Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HogGeek (456673) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:03PM (#29609395)

    Wy do people think things like TiVO, Hulu,... are so successful?

    I believe the general public is tired of be bombarded to "BUY MORE!"

    • Re:Um, Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by loteck (533317) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:51PM (#29610023) Homepage

      I'm going to comment instead of mod, since this topic is so dear to my heart. Let me wholeheartedly agree and go one step further than bashing targeted ads.

      I'm against ads, period. Advertising has gone beyond informing me of a product to the point where advertisements, especially in TV and Radio, are manufactured specifically for the purpose of manipulating me into desiring the product being advertised. It is no longer, "Hey, buy this product if you're in the market". It is now, "Hey, watch as we manipulate you with images and sounds that play on your politics or emotions so that we can manufacture a desire for you to buy our product that you do not need."

      Not only is this manipulation occurring, but many times it is occurring so blatantly and unabashedly that I become offended that the ad is being shown. Think: Chevy's ads juxtaposing classic Americana and John Mellencamp to sell their trucks (link [youtube.com]). That I, as a watcher/listener of that show/channel/medium, am considered to be so stupid that I will bite on their emotional/subliminal advertising garbage, is so enraging to me that I will completely disassociate myself from the show/channel/medium in order to get away from advertising.

      So I have abandoned commercial radio and television, and, frankly, I don't miss it. Advertising has gone from annoyance to something that I consider to be unethical and a serious contributor to our problems as a consumer society.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Martin Blank (154261)

        This is not at all new. Go listen to the radio ads of the 1930s and 1940s, or watch some of the sponsored programs of the 1950s. Look at newspaper ads from before those eras.

        Advertising has been about manipulating people into buying things for much longer than you seem to think. Why else do you think breakfast cereals have had mascots for so long? Manipulate the kids into begging for it enough, and a lot of parents are going to break down and buy it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by dwye (1127395)

        > So I have abandoned commercial radio and television, and, frankly, I don't miss it.

        And, of course, they won't miss you, since it sounds like you were never a potential customer of their direct customers, the ad agencies, or their indirect customers, the advertised companies.

        > Advertising has gone from annoyance to something that I consider to be unethical
        > and a serious contributor to our problems as a consumer society.

        So, how long have you been in recovery from your Home Shopping Network addicti

      • Re:Um, Duh! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MpVpRb (1423381) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @06:14PM (#29611737)

        In the perfect world, a customer is in the market for a product or service. The suppliers make their pitch, the customer chooses the best match of product to requirement.

        As it currently exists...Advertisers use sophisticated psychological warfare to make you feel good about buying a crappy product you don't need or want.

  • by kipin (981566) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:05PM (#29609407) Homepage
    To make people aware of what they don't necessarily know about or necessarily need/want. Doesn't targeted marketing miss out on this aspect of advertising?
    • Yes, but running car ads on a kids network channel is likely not to gain them as much increased brand awareness compared to running it, say a financial news channel or something like Spike.

      That's targeting.

      More so with websites. If the ad software knows you just came from a used car website, it can give you a different ad then if you just visited some other site.
      Most don't even care about that much personal information, most right now are happy if they get gender. Bonus if they can guess age group.
    • by Zerth (26112)

      The point of advertising is not to inform, it is to induce action. Buy stuff, visit a website, vote a particular way.

      Informing can do that, but implication or outright misinformation generally works better.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      To make people aware of what they don't necessarily know about or necessarily need/want

      Actually, I'd wager at least half, if not most advertising is really all about brand recognition. After all, when you're in the grocery store looking at a wall of paper towel, you're far more likely to pick brand X if you saw it on TV recently.

  • Yes and No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reapy (688651) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:05PM (#29609411)

    When given the choice between targeted and non targeted advertising, I would pick targeted. When given the choice between any form of advertising and no advertising, I would pick no advertising.

    But more importantly, I don't think I, or the majority of people, like knowing that a company is rifling through my 'personal stuff' to find out what I like and dislike. It gives you a feeling of having your privacy invaded. Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch, and google was nice enough to put up a stain remover advertisement right after I fired off the email. It is a little bit off putting.

    • by mewsenews (251487) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:18PM (#29609621) Homepage

      Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch

      I want to ridicule you for leading the most boring life imaginable, but we're both posting to Slashdot, so I will welcome you as a brother..

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch, and google was nice enough to put up a stain remover advertisement right after I fired off the email. It is a little bit off putting.

      Hell, what's scaring me more is just where some of them are even getting their information. I started getting into guitars a while back. I bought a guitar off of Amazon.com as a result, and I'd joined a few online forums on the subject. Hadn't really mentioned much about it elsewhere.

      Shortly afterwards I log into Myspace and I'm seeing mostly guitar-focused ads. Hadn't mentioned a thing nor done anything related to them actually on myspace, but they had to have some type of information sharing arrangeme

    • the problem with targetted marketting is the same problem that all marketing has. It only presents the products of the vendor who paid for the ad. There's a difference between you needing a tool, and then presented by ACME's tool-o-matic 5000, and you going online and searching for all possible solutions to your tool's needs. Targetted Ads give the illusion of being helpful but they don't care about better products, or even if the solution they propose is mistaken or if there's a competitor that has a bett
    • Re:Yes and No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:55PM (#29610057) Homepage

      But more importantly, I don't think I, or the majority of people, like knowing that a company is rifling through my 'personal stuff' to find out what I like and dislike.

      You may not like *knowing* it, but *they're already doing it*. How do you think those direct mailers figure out where to send their advertisements? Well, for starters, they go to a company like Experian, which knows an unbelievable amount about you thanks to things like credit card purchases, club cards, and so forth (including fun stuff like whether or not the lease on your car is about to expire). They then tell Experian "Hey, dudes, I want to target single males 18-25 who make between 50k and 75k who live in or around Washington DC", and they get back a list of addresses.

      In short: you're already being tracked. You been tracked for *decades*. The only difference is, people are actually paying a bit of attention. Unfortunately, they're missing the forest for the trees.

    • Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch, and google was nice enough to put up a stain remover advertisement right after I fired off the email. It is a little bit off putting.

      Target (no pun intended) does something similar with your credit card.

      I used to chug antacids before switching to a healthier diet. I used to buy them at Target along with other stuff because the store is in a convenient location. Now that I no longer buy antacids, everytime I use my credit-card there, the register prints out a coupon for TUMS or some house-brand antacid. Technically I knew that stores track us by CC#, but this rather minor exploitation of that data is what it took to really drive it home

  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:06PM (#29609425)

    marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible,'

    Did I just read that right? Americans want advertisement? Yeah, I want advertisements, just like I want another hole in my dick. What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

    • by Eudial (590661)

      Where's a "+1 The Damn Truth" when I need it?

    • by dirk (87083)

      It doesn't say they want advertisements in general, it says they think they wanted targeted advertisements. I think most people would say they want zero ads, but given a choice between random ads that don't apply to them (ads for diaper and tampons for young males for example) and ads that are targeted so that the majority of them will be for classes of items they buy (video games and porn sites for young males), most people would take the targeted ads.

      People want to complain about ads, but give them a cho

      • most people would take the targeted ads.

        I don't know about most people, but I prefer non-targeted ads. I think they are far less likely to trick me into buying stuff. And, I really don't want to buy more stuff than what I come up with on my own. In fact, I would prefer to live in an ad-free world. I would even be willing to pay more for this better world. I find 99% of all ads insulting to my intelligence and mind-numbingly boring. I also view advertising in general as psychological warfare directed at me and have long ago conditioned myself

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      the problem was the deliberate wording where they don't ask the question about if people like advertisements. They only asked if people wanted targeted advertisements.

      Whether they are targeted or not, people don't give a rats ass, they just don't want them.

    • You missed the context (and I wonder if most in the survey did too).
      Better framed.
      1. You are going to be shown an ad (whether you like it or not).
      2. Would you prefer it has anything to do with your life or not.
      Do you think marketers are going to offer you of opting out of #1?
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:37PM (#29609843) Homepage Journal

      What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

      The same dreamworld all the sociopathic CEOs and marketers live in. The world where they think it's OK to use up 1/3 of my TV screen with an ad while I'm actually watching a show; the world that has almost nothing but "paid programming" on Sunday morning TV, the same world where they think annoying me will get me to buy their crappy product, the same world where it's OK to annoy you with blinking, moving ads when you're on the internet trying to read.

      The same world where the people responsible for ruining the economy are rewarded with bailouts; the same world where a CEO who ran his business to the ground is rewarded with a golden parachute and an even better paying job at the next company he'll ruin.

      The same world where the former head of NASDAQ is arrested for a sixty billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

      The world that is run by sociopaths who don't give a damn about anything but themselves and their money.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Q: "Do you want to pay $1 from your wallet or give me $1 worth of eyeball time I can sell ads for?"
      A: "Well you're sure not getting my money"
      Q: "Ads are only worth something if they lead to sales, do you want tons of uninteresting ads?"
      A: "Let's get this over wtih as fast as possible"

      Of course you want it free as in beer and no ads and a free pony. But if you phrase is as "How do you want to pay?" not "Do you want to pay?" it's not that unreasonable a conclusion...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TrumpetPower! (190615)

      thisnamestoolong wrote:

      marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible,'

      Did I just read that right? Americans want advertisement? Yeah, I want advertisements, just like I want another hole in my dick. What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

      It was written by a marketer who was in the act of marketing the profession of market

    • Yeah, actually, I DO want advertisement, if it's done right. If I get advertisements that come up, and automatically tell me about something that I do want to buy, then that is great. I could learn something I wouldn't have otherwise known.

      In fact that would be ideal for advertisers, too. They are only interested in contacting people who will buy. That's why Microsoft and dice.com advertise here on Slashdot, while Lexus and people selling million dollar homes advertise in the Wall Street Journal. A
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by value_added (719364)

      Americans want advertisement? What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

      The same world where the majority of the population identifies themselves as "consumers"?

  • if you really could use a Guinness right now?
  • by NoYob (1630681) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:06PM (#29609435)
    How the hell am I going to explain to my wife why there are ads for hairy milf porn all over the place?!

    No targeted ads!

  • I suspect they will be able to identify two markets
    A) those who react positively to targeted ads. Those they will target as much as possible
    B) those who react negatively to targeted ads. Those they will target more subtly. IE follow the Steak ad with a soap ad.

    They will use the targeting criteria to place people into pool A or B.

  • The Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:09PM (#29609477)
    I would love to see the wording of the questions because, honestly, I cannot imagine why anyone would not want to see ads (assuming you have to see _an_ ad) that is targeted at their interests rather than just any random ad. Now, I understand people wanting their privacy respected and that's why I want to see the questions because, given how lopsided the responses seemed to be, I suspect the questions were phrased in a way that made them more about privacy and less about targeted advertising.

    Yes, I realize there is a connection between the two but that's not the point - the poll appears to have been about targeted advertising and not about privacy and, as I said, I can't imagine people not wanting to see ads that are focused on their interests.
  • by keatonj (940527) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:10PM (#29609487)
    Two problems.. The population seems to think the automated systems care more about their privacy .. they just want to sell you stuff, not sell the history off to some PI that your ex hired .. And it's a loaded question. Article headlines saying Americans don't want targeted ads, but really it's Americans hate getting spied on. Had you have simply asked the question at hand "would you like advertising that is more likely to be involved or associated with your interests or your current activities." Arguably they could say your not allowed to show ads about football, when your watching the football game. Cause after all that's targeting your advertisement ..
  • They're Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plaxion (98397) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:14PM (#29609551)

    What most of us want is NO ADS. They're annoying, distracting and whole purpose for being is to manipulate people.

    If we are in the market for said product we'd go shopping. There has yet to be a commercial that has moved me with their... oooh, shiny...

    CAPTCHA: cringe

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PitaBred (632671)
      And how exactly would you know that someone developed HD televisions without advertising? Or that the local store has them for sale for $X, which is right in your budget? Advertising isn't necessarily just to convince you to get something... it can be just to inform. If I'm in the market for something, I pay more attention to ads for that thing. I even seek them out. How is that a bad thing? They inform me about options, and help me get the best deal for my money, as well as telling me that brand X has all
  • It is not about what you and I want. If i had my way, I would never see an advertisement. Instead it is what the marketing people want. They want ads that reaches their audience and makes them money. And as long as targeted ads make them money, that is what we are going see.
    • by PhxBlue (562201)

      If i had my way, I would never see an advertisement.

      I listen to NPR or CDs when I'm driving. I don't have television service at home, and when I'm online, I use FireFox + AdBlock whenever possible. I'm not at the "never" stage, because there's nothing I can do about billboards on the side of the road, but it's pretty damn close.

  • Well duh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:19PM (#29609631) Homepage Journal
    Of course Americans don't want targeted advertising. They know it will just result in more advertisements for porn, penis pills, and 'personals' sites (quotes because we all know they are just the www version of 1-900 numbers).
  • by Tekfactory (937086) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:20PM (#29609647) Homepage

    If I must have ads, I would rather have targeted ads for something I might actually want or use, than things I do not want or use.

    Lessons we could learn, at Amazon or Netflix if I say I am not interested in Season 1 or CSI: Anywhere, DON'T offer me season 2, 3, 4 and 5. There is a Circle of Hell reserved for recommendation systems that offer me the same product over and over in different colors.

    If I bought a new Lens Kit for my Canon DSLR, then you offer me a Canon DSLR and I say "I already got one" don't offer me a Nikon DSLR.

    Somehow they need to find a way to tag their products as Series, and also Durable Goods vs Accessories or Refil kits, not just as a bunch of tangentally related SKU#s that this customer or that customer bought.

    Maybe as with Tivo we need Ad filtering devices that can Blacklist Ads we don't like, for products we don't need. This is really the only way to keep your "preferences" data at home and not have it abused.

    • by idiotnot (302133)

      This. It's another case where people say that want something that they really don't.

      To put it another way, how many of you want to see ads for feminine hygiene products on /.? Just sayin'.

      (Some places do go overboard, however, with the recommendations. I'm looking at you, Amazon. Really, I'm not going to buy a Nickelback CD. Ever. And I do buy a fair amount of things for other people. Because I bought a bridal book my fiancee wanted, doesn't mean that I want 800 wedding planning guides.....)

  • How about a "targeted" email of the results of this study to all online advertisers. Certainly it's important enough that they won't mind receiving 2 or 3 copies since it's "business relevant". We do want to make sure these people are inconvenienced, er I mean informed.

  • I don't have to RTFA to be able to judge from the summary that the study's questions were leading. If the questions were asked the right way, I'm sure people would respond that they'd prefer to see ads that are relevant as opposed to punch the monkey and black market viagra ads. From the summary, it sounds like all the study really says is that people don't want more advertising.
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nedlohs (1335013) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:24PM (#29609703)

    Americans don't want their web usage tracked.

    They likely do want targeted advertisements. But the dislike of tracking wins out. Of course 90% of them signed up for a supermarket discount card and pay for everything with a credit card so they don't really care, they just think they do.

    I'd rather see an ad for a video game than for tampons. Of course I'd prefer not to see an ad at all, but that's irrelevant.

    I'd also prefer that any random web advertising company can't see all the things I've purchased and web sites I've visited.
     

  • People Lie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:29PM (#29609751)
    Ask someone "would you like me to constantly monitor your life and give you adds based on what we learn about you?" and you'll get "no" every time. If you ask "would you prefer that adds be relevant to your life?" and you'll get "yes" much more often.

    Add that to the fact that people will say "I hate that idea" but then if you were to have them browse with targeted adds and without (and distract them by telling them it's a study about a new web browser, but just use IE with a skin or something) and ask them after which one they thought handled adds better, they'd pick targeted adds without knowing why. A survey is not scientific, and a good pollster can make a poll say what they want it to say, and in this day and age, often they are trying to show a result rather than learn something.
  • by fhuglegads (1334505) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:31PM (#29609785)
    If all I ever got was targeted ads I would know nothing about feminine hygiene products. Knowing these dirty little secrets that women have is part of being a teenager. I would have missed out on a lot of immaturity if all they showed me was ads for Atari 2600 games, pizza and the pepsi challenge.
  • ... except that I do mind the means to get them targeted.

    Otherwises, besides that, I of course want ads relevant to my interests like an offer to purchase the xkcd book, rather than Viagra and lottery ads. If you must get ads, that is.

    I think pretty much everyone agree.

  • and when asked if they were ok with getting 80% less advertising in exchange for the ads actually being about things they were interested in, consumers replied "lol wut?"

    seriously people - ads pay for the crap you're looking at. Do you want half the page covered in ads? Your alternative is to have much fewer ads, but have them be about things relevant to you. There is no third "everything for free!!!!" option, no matter how strong your sense of entitlement is.

  • In principle ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Old97 (1341297) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @03:53PM (#29610045)
    I prefer ads that are relevant to my interests so targeted ads are a good thing in that respect. On the other hand, I generally don't want companies doing what it takes to understand me personally well enough to target ads for me. If Amazon uses my past browsing and purchasing patterns on their site to make recommendations that's o.k. by me. What I don't want is a third party using my interactions with a company in order to target ads. It feels creepy and I resent the intrusion.
  • By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I'm doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: 'There's gonna be a joke comin' up.' There's no fuckin' joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself...borrow a pistol from an NRA bu
  • by nurb432 (527695)

    18% said those companies should be put out of business

    Cool, and i thought i was standing alone in that attitude. Nuke the damned companies.

  • 'In high percentages, [US residents] stand on the side of privacy advocates.'"

    This means the marketeers will ignore it.

  • My ISP does this (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ravenscall (12240) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:55PM (#29610823)

    And because they do it, and I work from home on a semi-regular basis (using VPN and OWA), almost all of the ads I get are for the company I work for.

    It makes me giggle that they are wasting their money.

  • by tommy (12973) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @05:35PM (#29611319) Homepage
    The article isn't so much about targeted advertising as it is how the user's data is obtained. What the article actually says is we don't want to be tracked across multiple sites. It doesn't mention targeted advertising using data acquired on a single site.
  • by logicnazi (169418) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {izancigol}> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @05:55PM (#29611547) Homepage

    Of course most people say they don't want targeted ads. I mean it's like asking "Would you like your taxes to be raised." Of course people say no because other things being equal people would prefer zero taxes and almost no ads. Of course if you asked whether you would prefer the government increase the gas tax or income tax, or whether a tax hike would be a worthwhile price to pay for universal health care you would get very different answers.

    In this sense ads are quite similar to taxes. We would prefer to get our government services for free and our media without any ads but since that's not possible question that matters is what tradeoffs you would like to make. I suspect if you asked people whether they would prefer to get tageted advertisements, a substantially larger number of untargeted ads or no longer get free webmail and the like I think you'll find many people take the first option.

    Also it's well documented that people seem to only really care about privacy/psuedo-anonymity/targeting when someone asks these kind of ominously phrased questions. I mean all the 'experts' go around saying vague ominous sounding things about losing privacy/etc so you ask people a question about privacy/etc.. and they think, "Hmm, I don't really understand what all the fuss is but it sounds kinda ominous and scary...you know I probably should be more responsible and worry about these issues." So your never finding out how much people actually mind losing their privacy and the like, they may not even notice. All you're really measuring is how much vague scary statements make people think they should worry about something.

    Ohh, and the fact that so many experts seem to take these concerns seriously is no more useful. If you dismiss a danger like that rather than looking thoughtful and concerned you appear less serious. I mean it's the same reason doctors and other medical experts in the mainstream media never get up and say, "Pshhaw, marijuanna use by teens isn't anything to worry about," despite having uncontrovertable data that it is way less risky that many other accepted activities. Once society views something as posing a risk and takes it to be a serious matter then any role models who refuse to treat it as a matter of serious concern are considered irresponsible and blamed for any harm that might have been avoided by being overly cautious.

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