LONDON: The marketing industry has been warned by the UK chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) that it must improve its approach to data privacy as a new survey reveals almost two-thirds (62%) of marketers avoid behavioural marketing because of consumers' privacy concerns.

Speaking at the ISBA's 26th annual conference in London, Richard Eyre said that, despite best practice offered by the IAB, he felt the industry was "undercooking it on privacy policies".

He cautioned that some very serious concerns remain about the collection of data and that marketers needed to go much further to ease consumers' concerns, The Drum reported.

Making reference to two recent US whistleblower cases, he said: "The activities of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden have brought state breaches of data to the fore, but it hasn't taken the heat off advertisers and brands."

Some practical measures that marketers could introduce, he suggested, included pulling up the privacy tab to the top of the web page, dropping the FAQs section from the contacts page on websites and, like Virgin Atlantic, investing properly in offering consumers genuine contact points.

"Under-resourcing of contact points is pathetic," he said. "It's what big businesses do when they think they are bigger than the consumer."

He went on to emphasise that corporate social responsibility "absolutely should be a division of marketing".

Eyre's remarks came as a new study from Forrester, the technology market research company, revealed 62% of the 151 marketers it polled agreed with the statement "we avoid behavioural marketing because of our customers' privacy concerns".

This was despite the great majority of respondents agreeing that behavioural marketing brought about benefits in terms of both revenue and customer satisfaction.

The survey also found that only one-third (33%) said they considered themselves to be "mature practitioners" of behavioural marketing.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff