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Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads 404

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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  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Re:The Questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:33PM (#29610521) Homepage

    I can't imagine people not wanting to see ads that are focused on their interests.

    To show me ads that are focused on my interests, advertisers would have to know what my interests are. I don't want sociopathic corporations to know what my interests are, thank you very much.

    And it doesn't matter if they knew me only as "consumer 38234585" and somehow couldn't connect that with my real identity: the purpose of their targeting ads is to influence my behavior, to attempt to manipulate me.

    As the late great Bill Hicks put it, "By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself. []

    Aaah, no really, there's no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers. Okay - kill yourself - seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you're going, "there's going to be a joke coming," there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

    Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, "he's doing a joke..." there's no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend - I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking makinations. Machi... Whatever, you know what I mean.

    I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, "Oh, you know what Bill's doing, he's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market, he's very smart."

    Oh man, I am not doing that. You fucking evil scumbags!

    "Ooh, you know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar. That's a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We've done research - huge market. He's doing a good thing."

    Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scum-bags! Quit putting a godamm dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by innocent_white_lamb ( 151825 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @07:08PM (#29612205)

    No sane person wants any kind of ad
    There are some exceptions.
    I own and operate a movie theatre, and I print and mail out several thousand flyers each month listing the movies that will be playing for that month.
    I hear complaints from customers every month if they don't receive the monthly flyer in the mail for whatever reason.
    I also have a mailing list of people who I send the flyer to that live outside of the "general distribution" area. I don't even advertise that "service" in any way; people ask me if I can mail them the flyer, so I do.
    So again, there are always exceptions; it depends on the type of advertising and what's being advertised. If you're genuinely interested in my flyer, then it becomes useful information ("What should we do tonight?") and not just another ad.
    On the other hand, I'm a big believer in Privoxy, Noscript and cookie management on my computers.

  • Re:And.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @07:13PM (#29612241) Homepage Journal

    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 getting that TMobile "myPhone" or whatever commercial for literally every other ad. I never want to see nor buy that phone now.

  • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blink Tag ( 944716 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @10:19PM (#29613327) Homepage

    Amen. The summary says Americans don't want targeted ads--which is quite a different statement from the much clearer statement further down that we don't want targeted ads created from following our behavior across the internet.

    I *do* want targeted ads. When I sign up for a store's loyalty program (like I did last week), I *don't* want five ad emails from the company in the next seven days pushing me clothes that have no relation to my purchasing habits (which is exactly what happened). It should be no surprise that I'm a fan of "permission marketing" as espoused by Seth Godin. If Netflix can do such a remarkable job of guessing my preferences with a handful of data points, these stores should too. And don't bother me otherwise.

    The part of the survey scenario that's creepy is the single entity tracking my viewing habits across multiple sites.

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