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April 22, 2013

Poll: Targeted Advertising Is Not the Bogeyman [Updated] Nearly 70% like at least some tailored Internet ads

by MalloryM

Poll: Targeted Advertising Is Not the Bogeyman [Updated] Nearly 70% like at least some tailored Internet ads

This ADWEEK article discusses the results of a poll suggesting people actually prefer seeing tailored and targeted ads compared to random ads.  According to the study, almost 70% of respondents preferred that at least some of their ads were targeted, while only 16% preferred random ads. Even more surprisingly, 40% responded that they like all of their ads to be targeted. This contradicts the results of previous studies which conclude that users do not trust how companies use their data and are increasingly concerned with privacy issues.

The study, which polled 1,000 adults and was commissioned by the Digital Advertising Agency, has come under some criticism from a professor at the Annenberg School of Communications, who asserts that the “questions were designed to get the answer the DAA wanted.” Therefore, it is unclear whether the results of the survey can be trusted.

This study has come at a time when regulations are started to bear down on Internet advertisers. For example, the Federal Trade Commission is currently calling for a universal “Do Not Track” mechanism that will help protect people’s privacy. This information further compromises the validity of the study, bringing up the biases of the DAA and questions about its motives in conducting the study.

Despite the abundant criticism, it will be interesting to see if the results of this study can be replicated in the future, because this could have important implications on how companies utilize targeted advertisements and handle consumers’ personal information. Perhaps there is some validity to the idea that people actually prefer to have at least some targeted advertisements over all random ads.

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