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Americans Don't Want Targeted Ads

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the might-prefer-them-to-endless-tampon-ads-though dept.

Privacy 404

itwbennett writes "A survey by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California Berkeley School of Law and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania finds that US residents do not want to receive Web advertising tailored to their interests. 66% of those surveyed said they don't want tailored, or targeted, online ads and when asked if online ad vendors should deliver targeted ads by tracking customers' behavior across multiple Web sites, 86% of the 1,000 respondents said no. 35% of respondents said executives of companies that use personal information illegally should face jail time, and 18% said those companies should be put out of business. 'While privacy advocates have lambasted behavioral targeting for tracking and labeling people in ways they do not know or understand, marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible,' the study said. 'In high percentages, [US residents] stand on the side of privacy advocates.'"

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And.... (5, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 5 years ago | (#29609383)

Do you think the Marketers give a rats ass?

Exactly (1)

petgiraffe (539721) | about 5 years ago | (#29609465)

What matters to companies is not whether targeted ads are what consumers want but whether they generate sales. No sane person wants any kind of ad, targeted or not.

Re:Exactly (3, Insightful)

ElSupreme (1217088) | about 5 years ago | (#29609883)

Pretty much. Consumers do not want 'targeted ads'; consumers are more likely to buy productst in targeted ads. The targeted is for the advertizer not the consumer.

Re:Exactly (4, Insightful)

1729 (581437) | about 5 years ago | (#29609941)

No sane person wants any kind of ad, targeted or not.

I find the targeted ads on Google searches to be useful. When I'm searching for information on Product X and there's a sponsored link along the lines of "Buy Product X here for $...", I'll often click that link if the stated price is reasonable. Well-targeted non-intrusive ads can be quite helpful for comparison shopping.

Re:And.... (4, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 5 years ago | (#29609509)

Do you think the Marketers give a rats ass?

Nope, and neither will consumers if advertisers can get something like this going under the radar. They'll just get used to it, like so many other things.

Re:And.... (3, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | about 5 years ago | (#29610061)

I'd go further and say consumers actually DO want this (i.e. the benefits it provides) - but just won't admit it.

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29610067)

That's what you would think but it is wrong. Targeted ads don't offer people what they want. They offer a stereotypical profile based assumption of what they might be able to use and afford on credit.

Web programmers are the only people who convince themselves that they are providing a service. Everyone else knows that personal data will be collected, sold and used for far more than targeted ads.

Re:And.... (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29609513)

And if customers are going to get some ads, targeted are a way better - atleast its some interest to them then. Just aslong as the advertisement platforms dont break privacy too much. On that note, i'm not worried about Google's AdSense, but rather about their Analytics code being all over the web (which is *designed* to gather all the possible info about users)

Re:And.... (5, Insightful)

MrMr (219533) | about 5 years ago | (#29609625)

targeted are a way better - atleast its some interest to them
That's a common mistake, the problem is the targetting always seems to work like this:
Hey you bought a PC yesterday; so you're in the PC buying demographic; so we'll serve you a dozen ads for the last thing you will need for the next couple of years...

Re:And.... (1)

Znork (31774) | about 5 years ago | (#29610053)

atleast its some interest to them then.

If it were perfectly targeted. yes. The trouble is, a system that can figure out what the viewer wants would figure out that what the viewer wants is to continue doing whatever they were doing, which, in many cases, was not watching ads or shopping.

Of course, that means that the only place it actually makes sense (for most companies) to place advertisements are price comparison, consumer info and shopping sites, which in turn creates somewhat of a problem for newspapers, TV, radio, billboards and similar non-purchase related advertising outlets.

Re:And.... (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#29609525)

Hemorriod cream for rodents
Does your rat have irratable bowel syndrome? Take this test today!
RATS AND DONKEYS on sale now!
Rattan chairs at WHOLESALE PRICES!
Litter boxes for all kinds of animals
Sassy Rats, get yours today!

Re:And.... (1)

clem (5683) | about 5 years ago | (#29609667)

*golf clap* Well done, sir. Well done.

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609717)

You beat me to my joke, you rat bastard!

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609723)

Do you think the Marketers give a rats ass?

Probably not.

At least not until more people start "advertising" their cinder block companies, by putting ads of cinder blocks through the advertisers car and home windows :P

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609837)

More importantly, do you think most Americans would still say this if they realized targeted advertising is what pays for all the free services they like so much on the Internet?

Only the shilliest of corporate shills believes targeting advertising makes browsing better for the users on its own. But it still beats the alternative as far as I can tell.

Re:And.... (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | about 5 years ago | (#29609905)

Marketers absolutely do care about this information. Now, they only have to figure out what types of ads to target to people who don't want targeted ads, and they can make billions.

Re:And.... (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | about 5 years ago | (#29609925)

Ads or not, requirement for me to spend my cash is easy. As long as the product is good and cheap. That's why i use services such as slickdeals or woot. Yes, given the incentive, we actually go out of our way and find ads. What these people don't understand is the fact human beings are hunter/gatherer since the ancient times. We look for what we want, and when we get it better and cheaper, it gives us a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, if it is simply dished in front of us, we'll just brush it off. When these ads force to catch our attention with no entertainment value or inappropriately use our private information, we usually find it offensive and/or annoying.

Re:And.... (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | about 5 years ago | (#29610109)

Of course they don't care. While consumers give the obvious answer that they don't like things more targeted, the unfortunate truth is that these ads are more effective. Just ask anybody who runs contextual ads. If it performs better than people will continue to use it, period.

Re:And.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29610239)

I've been targeted right out of the market.

I've had it. I can't take any more advertising. Television, radio, magazines, billboards, even the Internet for Christ's sake. Everywhere. Why do they keep targeting me? I never did anything to them. I don't even buy anything! They're wasting their time! Fast food makes me feel like shit, soft drinks make me dizzy, candy is disgusting, chips make my stomach hurt, I don't smoke, and any band that has ever been advertised anywhere sucks unequivocally. I eat tortillas and vegetables, I drink tap water. I ride my $40 bike for entertainment. I buy a new pair of Dickies at the army navy store every year and I get all my other clothes at Costco in 3-packs. My car works fine, I use my Internet connection for long distance, I've had the same boots for three years and re-sole them when they wear out. As far as booze goes, well, as long as it's wet.......

So why do they keep attacking me? Why are they filling every square inch of every available space in my life? Above urinals, on concert tickets, underneath the ice at hockey games, on blimps, in video games, as props in movies, plugs in rap songs, on shitty Web Sites (No, I will not visit your motherfucking sponsor. If you're not in it for the love, and you can't figure out any better way to pay for your site than by slapping some ugly, corrupted banner across the top of your pathetic work, then fucking close up shop, kill yourself, and leave the Web to non-polluters). They'd advertise on the backs of my eyelids if they could get away with it, and I can't hack it anymore. They win. I lose. They succeeded. I failed. Like Brian Wilson, I just wasn't built for these times. I fold. Here are all my cards. Keep the pot, keep my ante, keep the goddamn jacket on the back of my chair for all I care, I can get another at Costco. I'll be out in the parking lot getting drunk and yelling at cute girls because I can no longer stand the taste of tentacles. Marketing has poisoned everything worthwhile under the sun, so I'm giving it all up. Everything.

But the way I figure it, there's no real loss. I've seen all of the episodes of the Simpsons 200 times each. Most of the good writing was done 100 years ago. I haven't listened to FM radio in years. I could play all my records beginning to end alphabetically and I'd be 76 years old when I got to the Zeni Geva. Online culture is a fucking yawn, only good for buying stuffed goats on Ebay and getting cracked copies of $1000 software. Movies always end up at the 99 cent video store across the street eventually, and you can fast forward through those commercials. My girlie's cute and the corner bar has Pabst on tap. What else matters?

True, by shutting myself off to everything, I'm probably limiting my future potential as a 'community building' or 'bleeding edge' cog in someone's nightmarish vision of Internet profitability, but fuck, a simple read through my writing should've cured that anyway (Note to potential employers: The bidding starts at $120,000 a year with full dental).

So I'm out. No more.

I just feel bad for those of you I'm leaving behind. You'll be wearing your Slave Labor Nikes, sweating under a Third World Vest, listening to Everqueer or Fratboy Slim, your hair styled stupidly with gasoline and aborted pig placentas, trying to choke down a Double Meat Fuck Splattered Cow Testicles On The Slaughterhouse Floor Pus Coagulated Lactacious Secretion Yellow Dye #2 Deluxe. Man, will you be looking dumb. It makes me want to cry. You poor, oversugared demographic you. You're filling your apartments, your bodies, and your minds with useless junk. You stagger under your own weight, throwing money in random directions until you collapse and die, buried by a bunch of people who you failed to create meaningful human bonds with, who forget about you on the way home from the funeral.

Maybe I'm just oversensitive, but I actually feel those fingers reaching out at me - cute little girl fingers, feeling at my face like a bind man, pulling at the loose threads all over my brain, trying to find a sensitive one, one that tweaks me. Desires to be successful, attractive to the opposite sex, spiritually satiated, or conversely, the fears of disease, dismemberment, of being outcast, of repressed homosexual desires. Herd mentality as dictated by herd mentality. A gas mask of soiled wool, worn in a steaming shower of chlorinated pond water. A lumbering culture created by profit motive, existing as window dressing to disguise the brutal cynicism of the architects, the brassy checks and balances of accountants bleating commands to the flunky tastemakers on the production line. The subversion of anything subverting. The conversion of something dangerous into something profitable. The gutting of the lion and the championing of the taxidermist. And the puffy vests, my god, the puffy vests........

I give it one more shot.

I hit that little "on" button, and immediately this little red dot appears on my forehead. I feel the barrel rising on the other side of the glass as some powersuited executive attempts to get me in his sights. His scope is the best money can buy, but my nausea and skittishness mark me as difficult prey. I make a sprawling leap over a pile of books, spilling a glass of wine and sending my cats scattering. The TV takes a shot at me. It misses, but after the smoke clears, there's a shimmering can of Pepsi on the coffee table, seductively held by a well manicured (but severed) hand. Then the Taco Bell dog is outside, scratching at my window, singing "That's Amore", the secret code that alerts Col. Sanders and Ronald McDonald to get their tumor inducing grease guns at the ready. "We have a resistor! Alert Cap'n Crunch and Mrs. Butterworth. Tell Hogan to pull that Subaru around!" And then, as the entire posse of 1-800-COLLECT goons attempt to joke their way through the front door, a helmeted uberyouth does a backflip on rollerblades against the window, almost crushing the Taco dog, thankfully getting tangled in the iron jungle of security bars designed for such a moment. The severed Pepsi hand launches itself across the room onto the stereo, turns it to HOTROCK 99.5 FM and starts dancing suggestively on the turntable. Warm, gooey songs ooze from the speakers, blurring the lines between commercial and product, product and art. The walls are running with honey, blood, and Gatorade. Limp Bizkit tries to sign me up for the Rap Metal MasterCard, but is outvolumed by a chorus of creepy NY Gap models, dead eyed and Children of the Damned style, singing nostalgic 80s songs with cool detachment, trying to sell me vests. Close inspection reveals UPC codes on the backs of their beautiful necks and a legion of bulimic girls behind them, mascara mixing with puke on ten thousand toilet bowls. Budweiser frogs are crawling out of the toilet bowls. A one-eyed, mutilated Asian girl holds a pair of new Levi's against the window with a thin, purple arm and starts screeching "It's a Small World After All" at the top of her lungs. Magic, The Old Navy dog, is sniffing butts with the Taco Bell dog, who had since bit the Asian girl on the leg and now yelling something about Gordidas. A waifish beauty suddenly appears on my bed, vying for my attention, trying to talk me into a new car, her hand slowly unbuttoning her blouse, batting her doe-ishly brown eyes, "C'mon Mark. It's only a test drive. No one ever has to know."

Realizing my one escape, I yank my battered wallet out of my back pocket and pull out a twenty dollar bill. The entire scene freezes. All eyes are transfixed to the damp, smelly piece of paper. Andrew Jackson snickers and you can almost smell the cannibalized Indian on his breath. A miraculous cross breeze flows through my apartment, and I let the money go. It catches an upward draft, a hot air thermal, and is gone out the window.

And then, something even stranger happens. The spokespeople, animals, models, body parts, and corporate whores all disappear in a anti-climactic 'puff' of yellow smoke, leaving a slight smell of perfumed intestine twisting through the air. My twenty freezes in mid flight about thirty feet above the ground. A helicopter drops out of the sky, and lowers a rope down to the cash. A man in a business suit slides down the rope, commando style, and captures the money in his mouth, gives a contemptuous snort, mumbling something like "sucker" under his breath. And then the helicopter is gone, vanishing somewhere behind the radio towers spiking the top of Queen Anne Hill. Everything is quiet again.

I didn't just turn that TV off. I unplugged the motherfucker.

Um, Duh! (4, Insightful)

HogGeek (456673) | about 5 years ago | (#29609395)

Wy do people think things like TiVO, Hulu,... are so successful?

I believe the general public is tired of be bombarded to "BUY MORE!"

Re:Um, Duh! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609817)

I believe the general public is tired of be bombarded to "BUY MORE!"

As I see it, the problem isn't seeing ads; it's when I see them that determines my level of irritation. For instance, while I'm reading the news or streaming a show, the ads are a total pain in the rear and irritate me plenty (especially when I'm at work and some "bra sale" ads decide to pop over whatever site I happen to be reading at the moment). Conversely, when I'm at home browsing amazon for movies, I actually *like* being able to see comparable products, and have quick access to comparisons between them. Arguably, the "those who bought this also liked..." thing amazon does is a form of advertising competing products, and I've often been glad for it.
So, when I'm out shopping I take little issue against relavent targetted ads. When I'm doing anything else, keep them away please.
captcha: bagels

Re:Um, Duh! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#29609911)

especially when I'm at work and some "bra sale" ads decide to pop over whatever site I happen to be reading at the moment

"Bra sale" ads, eh? Which sites are you browsing at work? ;)

Re:Um, Duh! (4, Insightful)

loteck (533317) | about 5 years ago | (#29610023)

I'm going to comment instead of mod, since this topic is so dear to my heart. Let me wholeheartedly agree and go one step further than bashing targeted ads.

I'm against ads, period. Advertising has gone beyond informing me of a product to the point where advertisements, especially in TV and Radio, are manufactured specifically for the purpose of manipulating me into desiring the product being advertised. It is no longer, "Hey, buy this product if you're in the market". It is now, "Hey, watch as we manipulate you with images and sounds that play on your politics or emotions so that we can manufacture a desire for you to buy our product that you do not need."

Not only is this manipulation occurring, but many times it is occurring so blatantly and unabashedly that I become offended that the ad is being shown. Think: Chevy's ads juxtaposing classic Americana and John Mellencamp to sell their trucks (link [] ). That I, as a watcher/listener of that show/channel/medium, am considered to be so stupid that I will bite on their emotional/subliminal advertising garbage, is so enraging to me that I will completely disassociate myself from the show/channel/medium in order to get away from advertising.

So I have abandoned commercial radio and television, and, frankly, I don't miss it. Advertising has gone from annoyance to something that I consider to be unethical and a serious contributor to our problems as a consumer society.

Re:Um, Duh! (2, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 5 years ago | (#29610107)

This is not at all new. Go listen to the radio ads of the 1930s and 1940s, or watch some of the sponsored programs of the 1950s. Look at newspaper ads from before those eras.

Advertising has been about manipulating people into buying things for much longer than you seem to think. Why else do you think breakfast cereals have had mascots for so long? Manipulate the kids into begging for it enough, and a lot of parents are going to break down and buy it.

Re:Um, Duh! (1, Funny)

dwye (1127395) | about 5 years ago | (#29610167)

> So I have abandoned commercial radio and television, and, frankly, I don't miss it.

And, of course, they won't miss you, since it sounds like you were never a potential customer of their direct customers, the ad agencies, or their indirect customers, the advertised companies.

> Advertising has gone from annoyance to something that I consider to be unethical
> and a serious contributor to our problems as a consumer society.

So, how long have you been in recovery from your Home Shopping Network addiction?

66% say they don't want it, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609403) my experience nearly 100% of people don't know what they actually want.

Re:66% say they don't want it, but... (1)

rel4x (783238) | about 5 years ago | (#29609549)

Agreed. I'll bet if you polled the same people they'd say they hate seeing weight loss/dating/bizop ads everywhere.

But the fact is that those are the things that you can advertise to based on the general demographic of a large site. Without more specific information....yeah.

Re:66% say they don't want it, but... (1)

MrMr (219533) | about 5 years ago | (#29609649)

I'm pretty sure she meant no when she said no.

Isn't the point of advertising (4, Insightful)

kipin (981566) | about 5 years ago | (#29609407)

To make people aware of what they don't necessarily know about or necessarily need/want. Doesn't targeted marketing miss out on this aspect of advertising?

Re:Isn't the point of advertising (1)

petgiraffe (539721) | about 5 years ago | (#29609527)

It depends on the product. It doesn't make sense to waste money advertising highly specific networking equipment to someone looking for cookie recipes, unless you already know that person has looked at networking equipment before.

Re:Isn't the point of advertising (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | about 5 years ago | (#29609591)

Yes, but running car ads on a kids network channel is likely not to gain them as much increased brand awareness compared to running it, say a financial news channel or something like Spike.

That's targeting.

More so with websites. If the ad software knows you just came from a used car website, it can give you a different ad then if you just visited some other site.
Most don't even care about that much personal information, most right now are happy if they get gender. Bonus if they can guess age group.

Re:Isn't the point of advertising (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29609715)

The point of advertising is not to inform, it is to induce action. Buy stuff, visit a website, vote a particular way.

Informing can do that, but implication or outright misinformation generally works better.

Re:Isn't the point of advertising (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 5 years ago | (#29610091)

To make people aware of what they don't necessarily know about or necessarily need/want

Actually, I'd wager at least half, if not most advertising is really all about brand recognition. After all, when you're in the grocery store looking at a wall of paper towel, you're far more likely to pick brand X if you saw it on TV recently.

Yes and No (5, Interesting)

Reapy (688651) | about 5 years ago | (#29609411)

When given the choice between targeted and non targeted advertising, I would pick targeted. When given the choice between any form of advertising and no advertising, I would pick no advertising.

But more importantly, I don't think I, or the majority of people, like knowing that a company is rifling through my 'personal stuff' to find out what I like and dislike. It gives you a feeling of having your privacy invaded. Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch, and google was nice enough to put up a stain remover advertisement right after I fired off the email. It is a little bit off putting.

Re:Yes and No (1)

Ingcuervo (1349561) | about 5 years ago | (#29609495)

thats right but in the actual circumstances the choices are indeed: knowing that your info is been analyzed, or NOT knowing it. holy ignorance, but I think the people didnt meant to say i dont want targeted advertisements, they meant, I dont want advertisements at all.

Re:Yes and No (4, Funny)

mewsenews (251487) | about 5 years ago | (#29609621)

Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch

I want to ridicule you for leading the most boring life imaginable, but we're both posting to Slashdot, so I will welcome you as a brother..

Re:Yes and No (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#29609653)

Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch, and google was nice enough to put up a stain remover advertisement right after I fired off the email. It is a little bit off putting.

Hell, what's scaring me more is just where some of them are even getting their information. I started getting into guitars a while back. I bought a guitar off of as a result, and I'd joined a few online forums on the subject. Hadn't really mentioned much about it elsewhere.

Shortly afterwards I log into Myspace and I'm seeing mostly guitar-focused ads. Hadn't mentioned a thing nor done anything related to them actually on myspace, but they had to have some type of information sharing arrangements in place because the advertising sure as hell was targeted.

Re:Yes and No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609989)

So you are implying that Google has boldface lies in their privacy policy? If you can prove this you could have a nice lawsuit.

Re:Yes and No (1)

happy_place (632005) | about 5 years ago | (#29610037)

the problem with targetted marketting is the same problem that all marketing has. It only presents the products of the vendor who paid for the ad. There's a difference between you needing a tool, and then presented by ACME's tool-o-matic 5000, and you going online and searching for all possible solutions to your tool's needs. Targetted Ads give the illusion of being helpful but they don't care about better products, or even if the solution they propose is mistaken or if there's a competitor that has a better product. They only provide help in context of what they have been paid to advertise.

Re:Yes and No (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 5 years ago | (#29610057)

But more importantly, I don't think I, or the majority of people, like knowing that a company is rifling through my 'personal stuff' to find out what I like and dislike.

You may not like *knowing* it, but *they're already doing it*. How do you think those direct mailers figure out where to send their advertisements? Well, for starters, they go to a company like Experian, which knows an unbelievable amount about you thanks to things like credit card purchases, club cards, and so forth (including fun stuff like whether or not the lease on your car is about to expire). They then tell Experian "Hey, dudes, I want to target single males 18-25 who make between 50k and 75k who live in or around Washington DC", and they get back a list of addresses.

In short: you're already being tracked. You been tracked for *decades*. The only difference is, people are actually paying a bit of attention. Unfortunately, they're missing the forest for the trees.

Re:Yes and No (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29610205)

Just a few hours ago I wrote my wife to say I had gotten a stain on my shirt from lunch, and google was nice enough to put up a stain remover advertisement right after I fired off the email. It is a little bit off putting.

Target (no pun intended) does something similar with your credit card.

I used to chug antacids before switching to a healthier diet. I used to buy them at Target along with other stuff because the store is in a convenient location. Now that I no longer buy antacids, everytime I use my credit-card there, the register prints out a coupon for TUMS or some house-brand antacid. Technically I knew that stores track us by CC#, but this rather minor exploitation of that data is what it took to really drive it home for me. So now I pay cash at Target and try to do so at other stores too.

However, using cash may soon not be enough, Target's in the process of installing license-plate scanning systems in all of their store parking lots. It probably won't take much effort to start correlating license plates with purchasing habits in the same way that the 'anonymized' netflix data was correlated with imdb profiles or those MIT students that came up with a way to figure out if someone was gay just by cross-referencing their facebook friends.

Jesus, what balls... (4, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#29609425)

marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible,'

Did I just read that right? Americans want advertisement? Yeah, I want advertisements, just like I want another hole in my dick. What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

Eudial (590661) | about 5 years ago | (#29609457)

Where's a "+1 The Damn Truth" when I need it?

Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

dirk (87083) | about 5 years ago | (#29609535)

It doesn't say they want advertisements in general, it says they think they wanted targeted advertisements. I think most people would say they want zero ads, but given a choice between random ads that don't apply to them (ads for diaper and tampons for young males for example) and ads that are targeted so that the majority of them will be for classes of items they buy (video games and porn sites for young males), most people would take the targeted ads.

People want to complain about ads, but give them a choice between a cheaper product with ads in it and a more expensive product without ads, and 95% will take the cheaper one with ads. I know I would rather have no ads (but not so much that I want a price increase to get rid of ads), so I would take ads that are targeted more toward me so maybe they are of at least some use to me.

Not part of your 95% (1)

VirginMary (123020) | about 5 years ago | (#29610145)

most people would take the targeted ads.

I don't know about most people, but I prefer non-targeted ads. I think they are far less likely to trick me into buying stuff. And, I really don't want to buy more stuff than what I come up with on my own. In fact, I would prefer to live in an ad-free world. I would even be willing to pay more for this better world. I find 99% of all ads insulting to my intelligence and mind-numbingly boring. I also view advertising in general as psychological warfare directed at me and have long ago conditioned myself to view all advertising and advertisers as personal enemies! In fact, I am less likely to buy something after having an ad about it shoved in my face or blared into my ears. If I made a major purchase I'd prefer a consumer magazine comparing different products and I always perform extensive research on the 'net before buying an expensive geek toy. I then tend to pay more attention to negative reviews.

Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#29609585)

the problem was the deliberate wording where they don't ask the question about if people like advertisements. They only asked if people wanted targeted advertisements.

Whether they are targeted or not, people don't give a rats ass, they just don't want them.

Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | about 5 years ago | (#29609683)

You missed the context (and I wonder if most in the survey did too).
Better framed.
1. You are going to be shown an ad (whether you like it or not).
2. Would you prefer it has anything to do with your life or not.
Do you think marketers are going to offer you of opting out of #1?

Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | about 5 years ago | (#29609839)

Yeah, I want advertisements, just like I want another hole in my dick.

An oddly apropos analogy. Turns out, there are a lot of guys out there that DO want another hole (or two) in their dicks. I suspect there are also freaks out there that LIKE advertising. Hell, how many times have you heard coworkers talk about some commercial like it was actual entertainment?

Re:Jesus, what balls... (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#29609843)

What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

The same dreamworld all the sociopathic CEOs and marketers live in. The world where they think it's OK to use up 1/3 of my TV screen with an ad while I'm actually watching a show; the world that has almost nothing but "paid programming" on Sunday morning TV, the same world where they think annoying me will get me to buy their crappy product, the same world where it's OK to annoy you with blinking, moving ads when you're on the internet trying to read.

The same world where the people responsible for ruining the economy are rewarded with bailouts; the same world where a CEO who ran his business to the ground is rewarded with a golden parachute and an even better paying job at the next company he'll ruin.

The same world where the former head of NASDAQ is arrested for a sixty billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

The world that is run by sociopaths who don't give a damn about anything but themselves and their money.

Re:Jesus, what balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609865)

Well I don't know about advertisements and bombardment with crap in general, but I do want to know about things I may be interested in. It's a tough situation. On the one hand I don't want invasion of my privacy but on the other I want to know about new and upcoming things that I actually might actually be interested in. Plus they need to be limited, like advertisers get 60 seconds of my day and that's it, period.

Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#29609929)

Q: "Do you want to pay $1 from your wallet or give me $1 worth of eyeball time I can sell ads for?"
A: "Well you're sure not getting my money"
Q: "Ads are only worth something if they lead to sales, do you want tons of uninteresting ads?"
A: "Let's get this over wtih as fast as possible"

Of course you want it free as in beer and no ads and a free pony. But if you phrase is as "How do you want to pay?" not "Do you want to pay?" it's not that unreasonable a conclusion...

Re:Jesus, what balls... (2, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about 5 years ago | (#29609931)

thisnamestoolong wrote:

marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible,'

Did I just read that right? Americans want advertisement? Yeah, I want advertisements, just like I want another hole in my dick. What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

It was written by a marketer who was in the act of marketing the profession of marketing. Need I write more?



Re:Jesus, what balls... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#29609985)

Yeah, actually, I DO want advertisement, if it's done right. If I get advertisements that come up, and automatically tell me about something that I do want to buy, then that is great. I could learn something I wouldn't have otherwise known.

In fact that would be ideal for advertisers, too. They are only interested in contacting people who will buy. That's why Microsoft and advertise here on Slashdot, while Lexus and people selling million dollar homes advertise in the Wall Street Journal. Advertisers probably wouldn't be interested in advertising to you at all, since you probably aren't the type who will buy something you saw in an advertisement. If advertisements were targeted perfectly, you probably wouldn't see any.

The only problem with this is they have to track your movements across the web. Not cool.

Re:Jesus, what balls... (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | about 5 years ago | (#29610105)

Americans want advertisement? What sort of a psychotic, delusional dream world must whoever this quote was mined from live in?

The same world where the majority of the population identifies themselves as "consumers"?

Re:Jesus, what balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29610223)

It's at this point that I'm glad there aren't ads on slashdot queued off what's said in the comments...

Right about now we'd have all sorts of piercing ads talking about holes in your dick along with buying psychotic drugs and curing sleep/dream problems... I'd no longer be able to surf this site at work or when the wife is around with most of the comments...

Don't you want to know? (1)

prgrmr (568806) | about 5 years ago | (#29609429)

if you really could use a Guinness right now?

damn straight! (5, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29609435)

How the hell am I going to explain to my wife why there are ads for hairy milf porn all over the place?!

No targeted ads!

What kind of ads do we want? (1)

dfxm (1586027) | about 5 years ago | (#29609443)

Seriously, this is like asking, "do you like being tortured?" Of course Americans (and citizens of any other nation) would say no!

Depends how people react (1)

RichMan (8097) | about 5 years ago | (#29609461)

I suspect they will be able to identify two markets
A) those who react positively to targeted ads. Those they will target as much as possible
B) those who react negatively to targeted ads. Those they will target more subtly. IE follow the Steak ad with a soap ad.

They will use the targeting criteria to place people into pool A or B.

What WHO wants, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609475)

"it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible"

Bullshit. Nobody WANTS ads, targetted or otherwise. I'm sick to death of advertising. It's deceptive, it's infiltrating every aspect of our lives (this comment brought to you by Fukital, when you just don't care anymore, reach for Fukital! The beer with cyanide!) and all it does is reinforce the grossly consumerist society we've become.

There need to be REAL restrictions on commercial speech, and banning tracking and targetted ads is a good start.

The Questions (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 5 years ago | (#29609477)

I would love to see the wording of the questions because, honestly, I cannot imagine why anyone would not want to see ads (assuming you have to see _an_ ad) that is targeted at their interests rather than just any random ad. Now, I understand people wanting their privacy respected and that's why I want to see the questions because, given how lopsided the responses seemed to be, I suspect the questions were phrased in a way that made them more about privacy and less about targeted advertising.

Yes, I realize there is a connection between the two but that's not the point - the poll appears to have been about targeted advertising and not about privacy and, as I said, I can't imagine people not wanting to see ads that are focused on their interests.

typical reporting - loaded questions (4, Insightful)

keatonj (940527) | about 5 years ago | (#29609487)

Two problems.. The population seems to think the automated systems care more about their privacy .. they just want to sell you stuff, not sell the history off to some PI that your ex hired .. And it's a loaded question. Article headlines saying Americans don't want targeted ads, but really it's Americans hate getting spied on. Had you have simply asked the question at hand "would you like advertising that is more likely to be involved or associated with your interests or your current activities." Arguably they could say your not allowed to show ads about football, when your watching the football game. Cause after all that's targeting your advertisement ..

Re:typical reporting - loaded questions (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about 5 years ago | (#29609855)

You are right, we Facebook for that.

i don't know if i care (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 5 years ago | (#29609491)

i never pay attention to banner ads anyway so i don't notice if they are targeted or not.

I do know that i appreciate's suggested material. is that what people don't want? i kind of like it.

The land of the Free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609543)

Whoever told you that is your Enemy...

Play 3D Sexvilla 2 ? [] Show off your main character! []

They're Wrong (4, Insightful)

plaxion (98397) | about 5 years ago | (#29609551)

What most of us want is NO ADS. They're annoying, distracting and whole purpose for being is to manipulate people.

If we are in the market for said product we'd go shopping. There has yet to be a commercial that has moved me with their... oooh, shiny...

CAPTCHA: cringe

Matt Cutts already commented (0)

barrkel (806779) | about 5 years ago | (#29609559)

Matt Cutts already commented on this article, he has some interesting notes about the people behind the study - they also want Gmail shut down: []

One of the study's co-authors was Chris Jay Hoofnagle. Hoofnagle has served as the Senior Counsel and Director of the West Coast Office
of Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). You haven't heard of EPIC? EPIC was the group that in 2004 argued that Gmail should be shut down: "In a letter sent to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Monday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center argued that Gmail must be shut down because it 'represents an unprecedented invasion into the sanctity of private communications.' "

Instead ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609565)

Let's have people participate in an experiment:

1. Please surf the web for something you are interested in. Here are your two options:

A. Give me $5, and you can surf the version w/o advertisements.
B. Sit down and surf the version with advertisements for free.

That will tell you how much ($$$) Americans "don't want" targeted ads.

(My conjecture: Of course Americans don't want ads, they don't want to pay taxes, die, have to wait for anything, or be inconvenienced in any way. To save money, they take targeted ads every day and twice on Sunday.)

It isnt about what you and I want. (1)

woodchip (611770) | about 5 years ago | (#29609567)

It is not about what you and I want. If i had my way, I would never see an advertisement. Instead it is what the marketing people want. They want ads that reaches their audience and makes them money. And as long as targeted ads make them money, that is what we are going see.

Re:It isnt about what you and I want. (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about 5 years ago | (#29609781)

If i had my way, I would never see an advertisement.

I listen to NPR or CDs when I'm driving. I don't have television service at home, and when I'm online, I use FireFox + AdBlock whenever possible. I'm not at the "never" stage, because there's nothing I can do about billboards on the side of the road, but it's pretty damn close.

Re:It isnt about what you and I want. (1)

woodchip (611770) | about 5 years ago | (#29609879)

you could move to Vermont. Billboards are illegal here.

Go ahead with targeted ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609581)

If it means I'll only see ads about porn, hentai, furries, videogames, computers and hardware (except Windows-only bullshit), science-fiction and comedy movies, I'm all for it.

I can't stand those stupid Evony Online banners anymore! Are they for a game or porn or a dating service or selling ladies underwear?

Are these polls for real? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 5 years ago | (#29609601)

I wonder who verifies those polls. Not related to the number of respondents but how are the questions being phrased/asked.
I would take those marketers to a turkish bazaar, where sellers grab you by hands and drag you to their stores, even if you just want to pass by to a meeting or something. Leave them there for a couple days and then check back with them. Maybe this would change their opinions...

Just go away marketers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609613)

I'd just prefer NO advertising thanks. I'll take word of mouth and self directed research anyday. The rest is just noise (and usually not related in any way to the task I'm currently doing). Interrupting me or blocking me until you tell me about the latest greatest widget (wether it's something that might interest me or not) is damn frustrating.

Well duh... (2, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 5 years ago | (#29609631)

Of course Americans don't want targeted advertising. They know it will just result in more advertisements for porn, penis pills, and 'personals' sites (quotes because we all know they are just the www version of 1-900 numbers).

I like my privacy but... (4, Insightful)

Tekfactory (937086) | about 5 years ago | (#29609647)

If I must have ads, I would rather have targeted ads for something I might actually want or use, than things I do not want or use.

Lessons we could learn, at Amazon or Netflix if I say I am not interested in Season 1 or CSI: Anywhere, DON'T offer me season 2, 3, 4 and 5. There is a Circle of Hell reserved for recommendation systems that offer me the same product over and over in different colors.

If I bought a new Lens Kit for my Canon DSLR, then you offer me a Canon DSLR and I say "I already got one" don't offer me a Nikon DSLR.

Somehow they need to find a way to tag their products as Series, and also Durable Goods vs Accessories or Refil kits, not just as a bunch of tangentally related SKU#s that this customer or that customer bought.

Maybe as with Tivo we need Ad filtering devices that can Blacklist Ads we don't like, for products we don't need. This is really the only way to keep your "preferences" data at home and not have it abused.

Re:I like my privacy but... (1)

idiotnot (302133) | about 5 years ago | (#29610185)

This. It's another case where people say that want something that they really don't.

To put it another way, how many of you want to see ads for feminine hygiene products on /.? Just sayin'.

(Some places do go overboard, however, with the recommendations. I'm looking at you, Amazon. Really, I'm not going to buy a Nickelback CD. Ever. And I do buy a fair amount of things for other people. Because I bought a bridal book my fiancee wanted, doesn't mean that I want 800 wedding planning guides.....)

Polling pool (0)

Narnie (1349029) | about 5 years ago | (#29609655)

1000 people isn't really a large pool to guesstimate the preferences of the American population. It's like asking 1000 people if they think Obama is doing a good job--results will vary widely among ages, gender, location, class, etc.

Nevertheless, I think it can be assumed that Americans don't like the idea of businesses, governments, or neighbors digging through their personal information for the sake of marketing. Many states have invasion of privacy laws, I wonder if/when citizens will flex these laws to keep their online privacy.

Re:Polling pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609705)

It's like asking 1000 people if they think Obama is doing a good job--results will vary widely among ages, gender, location, class, etc.

Were you afraid to say "races"? Or was that too obvious?

Re:Polling pool (1)

Narnie (1349029) | about 5 years ago | (#29609937)

Sorry, left that one out... yeah, participants race, nationality, education, religion, etc could cause results to change too. The 'etc.' was to signify the normal list of the major demographics, I didn't think I actually needed to list them all.

Re:Polling pool (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 5 years ago | (#29610113)

1000 people isn't really a large pool to guesstimate the preferences of the American population.

Let me guess, you aren't educated in statistics, right?

As it happens, 1000 is roughly the magic number from which you can extrapolate meaningful statistics about a large population.

This needs to be shared (1)

robkill (259732) | about 5 years ago | (#29609665)

How about a "targeted" email of the results of this study to all online advertisers. Certainly it's important enough that they won't mind receiving 2 or 3 copies since it's "business relevant". We do want to make sure these people are inconvenienced, er I mean informed.

RTFA? (1)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | about 5 years ago | (#29609685)

I don't have to RTFA to be able to judge from the summary that the study's questions were leading. If the questions were asked the right way, I'm sure people would respond that they'd prefer to see ads that are relevant as opposed to punch the monkey and black market viagra ads. From the summary, it sounds like all the study really says is that people don't want more advertising.

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#29609703)

Americans don't want their web usage tracked.

They likely do want targeted advertisements. But the dislike of tracking wins out. Of course 90% of them signed up for a supermarket discount card and pay for everything with a credit card so they don't really care, they just think they do.

I'd rather see an ad for a video game than for tampons. Of course I'd prefer not to see an ad at all, but that's irrelevant.

I'd also prefer that any random web advertising company can't see all the things I've purchased and web sites I've visited.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609927)

Bullshit. I don't want targeted ads.
I want fair reviews of products, not marketing bullshit with its semi-conscious messaging.

What I Want (0, Troll)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 5 years ago | (#29609711)

...marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want...

If I wanted some giant faceless social entity telling me what I want I would:

A) Start going back to church
B) Start using Microsoft products at home again
C) Start wearing a dark turtleneck and buying Apple prodcuts
D) All of the above

And since I do none of the above, and never intend to, I say to you, marketers, go f*** yourselves. I have a brain. I think. I make choices. I have freewill. Stop looking at me as an endless consumer statistic for you to shovel your broken/flawed/rushed/under-designed P.O.S. products into the mouth of, and start looking at me as the living, breathing, intelligent human being I am, you insensitive clods!

Gimme my Ads ! (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | about 5 years ago | (#29609749)

No, seriously, if even a website like can't 'recommend' me items correctly based on past purchases, how the hell else are competitors gonna get it right ? I really don't mind targeted ads (but then again, I'm European) but they *do* have to get it right and recommend/advertise me stuff that I *really* would like to buy.

People Lie (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 years ago | (#29609751)

Ask someone "would you like me to constantly monitor your life and give you adds based on what we learn about you?" and you'll get "no" every time. If you ask "would you prefer that adds be relevant to your life?" and you'll get "yes" much more often.

Add that to the fact that people will say "I hate that idea" but then if you were to have them browse with targeted adds and without (and distract them by telling them it's a study about a new web browser, but just use IE with a skin or something) and ask them after which one they thought handled adds better, they'd pick targeted adds without knowing why. A survey is not scientific, and a good pollster can make a poll say what they want it to say, and in this day and age, often they are trying to show a result rather than learn something.

Think about the money (1)

Chameleon Man (1304729) | about 5 years ago | (#29609763)

Targeted ads have a larger success rate when trying to draw people in. That said, websites have less of a need to clutter their site with non-targeted ads to make the same amount of money. Given the two options, I would much rather choose targeted...then again, I use ad-blocker. And besides, with respect to publicly posted information (not e-mails), saying targeted ads is an invasion of privacy is like calling a friend a stalker for looking at your facebook pictures.

non-targetted ads helped me grow up (5, Funny)

fhuglegads (1334505) | about 5 years ago | (#29609785)

If all I ever got was targeted ads I would know nothing about feminine hygiene products. Knowing these dirty little secrets that women have is part of being a teenager. I would have missed out on a lot of immaturity if all they showed me was ads for Atari 2600 games, pizza and the pepsi challenge.

So what do they want? (1)

moorehol (1648137) | about 5 years ago | (#29609847)

random ads to dating services? how about "save your kingdom"! and play some crappy role playing game using elfy looking hot chicks on their google ads. -mandy []

I can sum this up in one command (1)

geeper (883542) | about 5 years ago | (#29609849)


loyalty cards; air miles, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609877)

the thing about this that i find interesting is that the same people will whip out or sign up for numerous 'loyalty' cards that shave 5% off the top or give 'points'. do those same people believe that the companies involved don't scrutinize their purchases and buying habits? and/or sell the related information to 3rd parties for profit?

I wouldn't mind them, except... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 5 years ago | (#29609969)

... except that I do mind the means to get them targeted.

Otherwises, besides that, I of course want ads relevant to my interests like an offer to purchase the xkcd book, rather than Viagra and lottery ads. If you must get ads, that is.

I think pretty much everyone agree.

Just like we also don't want... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29609977)

another government boondoggle being foisted upon us in the guise of health care. It's very telling that Sen. Cornyn's amendment to force all Congress members onto Max Baucus' plan was promptly and soundly defeated...

and when asked.... (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 5 years ago | (#29609979)

and when asked if they were ok with getting 80% less advertising in exchange for the ads actually being about things they were interested in, consumers replied "lol wut?"

seriously people - ads pay for the crap you're looking at. Do you want half the page covered in ads? Your alternative is to have much fewer ads, but have them be about things relevant to you. There is no third "everything for free!!!!" option, no matter how strong your sense of entitlement is.

In principle ... (4, Interesting)

Old97 (1341297) | about 5 years ago | (#29610045)

I prefer ads that are relevant to my interests so targeted ads are a good thing in that respect. On the other hand, I generally don't want companies doing what it takes to understand me personally well enough to target ads for me. If Amazon uses my past browsing and purchasing patterns on their site to make recommendations that's o.k. by me. What I don't want is a third party using my interactions with a company in order to target ads. It feels creepy and I resent the intrusion.

Bill Hicks said it best (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 5 years ago | (#29610047)

By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I'm doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: 'There's gonna be a joke comin' up.' There's no fuckin' joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself...borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something...rid the world of your evil fuckin' presence.
- Bill Hicks

18%? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 5 years ago | (#29610139)

18% said those companies should be put out of business

Cool, and i thought i was standing alone in that attitude. Nuke the damned companies.

Make it Manual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29610243)

Make it manual so that I can subscribe to the service and indicate the ads I want to see - at least that way I can:

1) get USEFUL adds! I was interested in a lawn mower last year - this year not likely so much ...
2) be amused by adds for puppies or video games or 10 million dollar islands ...

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