LONDON: UK consumers do not trust advertisers to look after their data but some are willing to sell this information at a price of £500 a year according to a new survey.

A study by Mediabrands Marketing Sciences, a division of media investment business IPG Mediabrands – Privacy vs. Relevancy: The Value Exchange – was based on an online survey of 1,000 UK adults and highlighted some contradictory thinking around privacy and data issues, as respondents were wary of marketers knowing where they were even as they expressed interest in the benefits of location-based marketing.

Overall, however, there was a deep level of distrust: just 1% had faith in advertisers' ability to look after their data. Six in ten said it felt "weird" knowing that companies were tracking them online and a similar proportion worried about those same companies sharing data inappropriately.

But three in ten (27%) said they would be prepared to sell their data and among this group four in ten (41%) felt this information was worth at least £500 a year.

Mostly, however, respondents were ready to settle for discounts and vouchers, rather than cash, in return for supplying personal details such as email and home addresses, mobile number, date of birth as well as products reviews and entertainment preferences.

The report suggested a new era was emerging, characterised by "an increasingly sophisticated value exchange" where consumers were willing to relinquish some level of privacy if they were suitably rewarded.

Apart from the value they placed on their own data, 62% of respondents were interested in receiving advertising messages telling them of special offers nearby. And 59% were interested in give-aways in local places, such as free coffee in a café.

"Marketers have become data hoarders," observed Claire Spencer, Head of Insight, Mediabrands Marketing Sciences, adding that "the evolving dialogue between brand and consumer is increasingly data-centric".

She argued that it was easy to lose sight of the people behind the numbers and that marketers needed "to establish a simple exchange between brand and consumer, one in which boundaries are respected and both parties benefit".

Data sourced from IPG Mediabrands; additional content by Warc staff