Consumer choice crucial for targeted ads

21 May 2009

LONDON: Consumers need to be provided with more information about targeted ads if they are to make educated choices about opting in to, or out of, the online data collection schemes at the heart of behavioural advertising, the audience at a Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar into the matter heard recently.

At the event – full coverage of which is available hereJonathan Bamford, of the Information Commissioners' Office, reported that 94% of British consumers agree that protecting their personal information is a matter of great importance.

Nick Stringer, head of regulatory affairs at the IAB, added that "advertising is the life blood of the digital economy," and that behavioural advertising can offer benefits both to marketers, through more efficient targeting, and to consumers, by providing them with ads tailored to their tastes.

However, the organisation has also developed a number of best practice guidelines for such programmes, stressing that it should be clear what data is being collected and how it will be used, as well as making it easy for consumers to "opt out."

Subscribers to WARC Online can read a full report from the Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar on "Behavioural targeting, social networking and the challenge of online privacy" by clicking here.

Data sourced from WARC Online