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Study Says Targeted Ads Gettin' a Lil' Creepy 241

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the your-mom-knows-what-you-surf dept.
eldavojohn writes "Ever load up a completely random webpage to see an advertisement at the top for products related to what you're reading about? What about the advertisement with binoculars that says your green denim jacket doesn't really go with your eyes? Well, a recent marketing study (PDF) is saying that making a highly visible advertisement content aware is too much for consumers. It seems that to optimize clicks and purchases you should use a highly visible ad or a more diminutive ad that is content-aware, but not both. For marketers, this report talks about the consumer having this crazy notion of privacy and at some point they start to feel like you're crossing the line."
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Study Says Targeted Ads Gettin' a Lil' Creepy

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  • Naturally... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:54AM (#32563664)

    Diminutive is better.
    But in general, if I have to see ads at all I'd prefer them to be relevant for me.

  • Well, no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:55AM (#32563672)

    About the time I added "Brooks Brothers" to my 'interests' sections on Facebook and started getting Brooks Brothers ads on every website that I visited after that, is when I started to feel violated. Not sure why FB kept trying to sell me Jewish dating websites, when my profile clearly indicated that I was not Jewish... an Anglo-Norman name, 'Zen Buddhist' as my religion... seems like they missed the mark with that one. However, now I just run ABP and I don't ever have to see ads anymore either, and I took out nearly all the information from my FB profile. I'd just get rid of it if not for the fact it's my main method of keeping in contact with a lot of people I'm actually kind of fond of. It still feels very stalkerish.

  • Privacy... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iScotty (1796334) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:02AM (#32563754)
    Lol, privacy on the internet, come on consumers.
  • Re:Well, no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:02AM (#32563758) Homepage

    ...and I took out nearly all the information from my FB profile.

    Don't worry, it's still stored permanently.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stele (9443) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:03AM (#32563768) Homepage

    "Ever load up a completely random webpage to see an advertisement at the top for products related to what you're reading about?"

    No. Thanks Adblock!

  • Oblig XKCD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:03AM (#32563790)

    http://xkcd.com/713/ [xkcd.com]

    I've always felt that these ads aren't just intrusive, they're -lying- to me. There isn't actually a ton of hot women in this town looking for a nerd to comfort them at night. It's ridiculous. In fact, for that scenario, there's -nowhere on earth-.

    It got to the point a few years ago where I just ignored anything that had the name of my town. Why? Because I found a 'news article' that said the writer was from my town. This confused the hell out of me, because it was extremely unlikely. Then I realized the 'article' was just a fake and was really an advertisement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:12AM (#32563880)

    .. are the ones relating to nothing on the page you are currently on, but stuff you have recently been looking at.

    For instance, I just bought a puppy recently.. and quite frequently now I'll see ads for obedience training.. while looking at computer parts.

    I'm actually perfectly cool with how this is pulled off.. but it is still a little weird!

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:15AM (#32563902)

    People do not like the idea that you come to their most private place, their home, unasked and uninvited, and try to force them to buy your junk. Who would have tought that they do not like that idea?

    Now, you say, ads have been our companions for decades, if not centuries. Why suddenly that rejection? We should be use to them by now. And yes, we are. But these ads are different.

    So far, we had ads that yelled at you, in the equivalent of a street hawker. He yells out what goods he has, come and get 'em! That's basically what TV and radio ads are like. They do not talk to YOU. They talk to, well, anyone listening. Targeted ads are more like the guy at your door trying to sell you some magazine subscription, only that he also happens to know a lot about you. He knows your hobbies and he offers you magazines related to your hobbies, with the undertone of "this has to interest you, I know it".

    And people don't like strangers to know their private details. Especially if those strangers try to sell them something.

    And people don't buy from people they don't like.

  • Re:Oblig XKCD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:18AM (#32563954)

    It got to the point a few years ago where I just ignored anything that had the name of my town. Why? Because I found a 'news article' that said the writer was from my town. This confused the hell out of me, because it was extremely unlikely. Then I realized the 'article' was just a fake and was really an advertisement.

    Yup.

    These days I assume that anything that looks too personal must be garbage. I live in a small town... Unless I'm reading the local paper, I'm not going to see references to anything that local. If I do, it must be some kind of geo-targeted advertising.

    Interesting how the hooks they use to try to get your attention have instead become keywords that signify that I can safely ignore something.

  • Re:Privacy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThosLives (686517) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:39AM (#32564204) Journal

    Indeed! I'm still trying to figure out how to promote my campaign to educate people on a nice subtlety:

    Privacy: doing something that other people don't know about. This is inherently impossible on the internet, because in order to do anything on the internet, you have to send data to or from somewhere - someone else knows what you're doing.

    Anonymity: doing something but people don't know that it's you that's doing it. This is really what people are after, not privacy. People talk about "privacy" for many things, such as GPS for fuel tax in their cars, or speeding or whatever. The complaint there isn't privacy: anyone who has eyeballs can see that there is a car driving around. The complaint is anonymity: drivers don't want others to know that they are driving to a particular place or in a particular manner.

    So, please help fix this argument: the internet cannot ever have privacy, but please let's keep it anonymous! All the things like Facebook, etc. are inherently non-anonymous, because people are volunteering identifying information. I suppose there's an argument about protecting who has access to the identifying information, but that's a different facet of the argument.

  • Re:Well, no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:58AM (#32564456) Homepage

    > Slowly over a period of about a month or so replace all of your data with
    > incorrect data.

    Why would you ever put any correct data in to begin with, except for stuff that is already a matter of public record or that you see no reason keep private?

    Even if Facebook could be trusted to keep your secrets your "friends" cannot.
     

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:01AM (#32564502)

    People do not like the idea that you come to their most private place, their home, unasked and uninvited, and try to force them to buy your junk. Who would have tought that they do not like that idea?

    This is one of my major points when someone argues with me regarding the use of adblocking software.

    A door-to-door salesman comes to your hosue. Do you:
    a) Wait for him to finish his pitch and consider buying?
    b) Listen politely, tell him no thanks, be cordial?
    c) Slam the door in his face?

    If you answered other than c), now imagine that when you opened the door to let in a friend, the salesman walked in too. He is now walking around your living room looking at your furnishings, which cleaning products you use, inspecting your rubbish, and going through your underwear drawer reading all the labels. He's reading all of your receipts, checking out how often you buy sanitary products, and of which brand. In 3 days time, he'll come back with a truck full of flyers for products related to what he found out about you, and put them over every window, through your letterbox, in your mail (because he's affiliated with the post office) and your newspaper will now be 200 pages thick, 150 of them being adverts.

    Now, how about we install a peephole in your door so you know not to open it up when the salesman comes around? That's Adblock.

  • Re:Well, no shit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:02AM (#32564514) Homepage

    C'mon, how seriously do you think anyone takes that lie, I would rather have adds targeted at my personal interests. If you know want you want you don't need adds, and targeted is only post date, not what you are interested in but what you were interested in. They are not selling you knowledge they are selling you product. When you do searches to buy product, the current, by the time they align you have already decided and that would have been based on the content your sought which is where the adds should have been.

    The reality is it cost more to align adds with web content than in does to spread the marketing deceit of targeting people with adds for things they were interested in buying yesterday and already purchased.

    To really aligned adds personally, they are not talking about your interests but you psychological weakness, what adds styles (not content bur form) are you a sucker for, what add style can manipulate the choices you think you make and that is disgusting.

    Align adds with content is far more logical, catch is someone, in fact two people the add buyer and the add seller, need to review the add and content to make sure that they align, continuously day in and day out and that costs a lot of money, especially reviewing quality of content and add placement price. The big reason to align add to content is because it is the product purchasers current interest. There is no point in targeted people with adds for a new car the day after they buy one just because the data mining says they 'were' interested in buying a car.

    There are tricky adds placements like news but then they are obvious add placements for insurance for bad news and for good news entertainment.

    So the new add agency, people that continually reviewing web content and place adds live, people reviewing placements, add placement bidding for hot content, add placement history and substantiation and add agency track record for returns on add placements. Some automation, some regular space buy in, and quite of bit of live active placement for the best returns, all based on content value (a value at competition to how much content space has been taken away for add space.

    As for invasion of privacy, psychological profiling, choice manipulation through subconscious targeting, that will come to a legally enforced end. The extra money will have to be spent are accurately aligned adds with time critical content (when the content is at it's best sales value), globally. A whole bunch of webheads monitoring the pulse of the web putting their customers adds at the best web locations at the best time and content producers working to attract those webheads eyes and add placement dollars charging top dollar for current hot content. People watching web click counters like stock brokers watch stock tickers.

  • Re:Ugh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coolsnowmen (695297) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:39AM (#32564960)

    No substance, just a rant. And yet, it seems to resonate with some people here at /. The fact is, if something is free** it is either paid for by advertising or tax dollars. The following are a couple of my favorite free things: my content on the internet (with the exception of netflix). If you hate advertising that much, be prepared for the alternative when you get your wish,. Pay-walls everywhere.

  • Re:Ugh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by internewt (640704) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:34AM (#32565702) Journal

    No substance, just a rant. And yet, it seems to resonate with some people here at /. The fact is, if something is free** it is either paid for by advertising or tax dollars. The following are a couple of my favorite free things: my content on the internet (with the exception of netflix). If you hate advertising that much, be prepared for the alternative when you get your wish,. Pay-walls everywhere.

    Pay-walls on content will only be there if the site is being run for profit. People running a site about a topic, for the love of the topic, will not mind paying the pennies that hosting really costs. And if a site gets really popular, whilst remaining amateur, voluntary donations can easily cover hosting costs.

    And if you feel that that is just a rant with no substance, you clearly don't understand what is written between the lines.

  • Re:Really?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo (565198) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:36AM (#32566566)
    I actually *would* love them. If they didn't suck.

    I'm getting to a stage where ALL ads, whether targeted or not, have a tendency to occupy such a large proportion of my screen-space that I almost have no choice (for sanity's sake) to adopt a ruthless approach of filtering them all out.

    Thanks to adblock, flashblock and an extensive hosts file, I now see very few ads at all, where I would have been happy to accept a limited amount to offset the costs of hosting the content in which I'm interested. The marketroids are sabotaging their own interests with their policy of saturation advertising, and they only have themselves to blame if people are physically tuning them out.

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