Home  › Marketing › Strategies

U.S. Users Opposed to Behavioral Targeting, Gallup Poll Suggests

  |  December 21, 2010   |  Comments

Two thirds of respondents say behavioral ad targeting is unjustified, even if it enables websites to provide them with free content.

Internet users in the U.S. are largely opposed to behaviorally targeted ads, according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup and USA Today. In addition, the research found most respondents deemed the practice unjustified even if it enables them to access content and services for free.

The survey, which polled 850 random U.S. citizens by telephone over a three-day period commencing December 10th, concluded that 67 percent of respondents believe advertisers "should not be allowed to match ads to their specific interests based on websites they have visited." Meanwhile, 61 percent said behaviorally targeted ads are "not justified" even if they "keep costs down so users can visit websites for free."

Additionally, 61 percent of Internet users Gallup surveyed reported seeing behaviorally targeted ads. And 90 percent claimed to pay "not much attention / none at all" to online ads.

gallup1

In a press release announcing the research, Gallup framed its findings in the context of the FTC's recent calls for a "Do Not Track" mechanism, suggesting "U.S. Internet users would likely welcome a 'Do Not Track' measure."

Though the findings offer insight into consumer attitudes and sentiment towards the practice, the survey did not explore the actual choices consumers might make around it. For example, respondents were not asked if they would opt out of behaviorally targeted ads at the expense of being able to access free online services. Some observers have suggested online publishers should cut off content to users that reject ad targeting to demonstrate the value exchange to consumers.

The results also appear to contradict recent claims by Better Advertising - a company that offers consumers the ability to opt out of behaviorally targeted ads. It found a tiny fraction of Web users opted out following the initial rollout of its system. The firm's technology appends a small icon to online ad units; that icon gives users access to information about which data is being used to target them, and lets them opt out of data collection.

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...