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Behavioral targeting – consumer survey

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday December 22, 2010 )

As the debate for “do not track” heats up, consumers have spoken – and the news isn’t all that good for advertisers according to survey results.

A USA Today/Gallup poll has found that Internet users in the USA would probably welcome “do not track” regulations to keep online advertisers from tracking their movements throughout the web and showing ads based on their interests and habits.

When asked “should advertisers be allowed to match ads to your specific interests based on websites you have visited”, 67% said no. 61% said behavioral targeting was not justified by free access to content.

Behavioral targeting hasn’t gone unnoticed by Joe Surfer either. 6 in 10 participating in the survey stated they have noticed some ads are appearing based on websites they have previously visited.

Those surveyed were a little more open to the idea of being able to choose what advertisers would be allowed to target ads to their interests.

The poll was carried out with a a random sample of 1,019 adults living in the continental U.S. You can read more of the results here.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently told Congress while consumers may benefit in some ways from tracking in order to serve targeted advertising, the agency believes consumers should have access to “Do Not Track” options as behavioral advertising practices are largely invisible to consumers.

The Commission recommends a browser-based mechanism, one that allows consumers choose to opt out completely or to choose certain types of advertising they wish to see or information they are willing to have collected about them.


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