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Consumers irritated by online retargeting

21 Jun 2011 2:58 BST Back
Consumers irritated by online retargeting

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The British public finds the retargeting of online ads annoying, according to new research by ad network Specific Network.

This qualitative research is based on hour-long interviews with regular internet users and gives marketers and advertisers new insights into consumer attitudes to online privacy.

For instance, while consumers are happy to view relevant advertisements, they want to have the option to control over what is targeted at them – whether they use it or not. 

One of the reasons consumers didn’t like retargeting was that it meant they saw products that they had already bought or ones that they had viewed but had decided not to buy. Seeing ads for these products over and over gave the communication a pushy, hard sell feel.

Consumers are not against retargeting per se but advertisers do need to consider the impact of the message and potential negative effect it could have on their brand.

When it came to cookies, consumer awareness and understanding of what they were and how they worked was low and they were quite negative about them. But once the interviewer explained the use and benefits of cookies they were more positive and were generally happy for advertisers to use cookies to target relevant advertisements.

The research also revealed that consumers would also like more information on targeted advertising, such as an icon, or an opt-out option. Although the majority indicated that they would be unlikely to use the opt-out option, the power to choose is still very much a priority for consumers.

 Posted by Neil Turner

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