Zaneis: 'Advertising Is Creepy' Campaign 'Hit the Mark'
But the campaign, which includes a banner ad stating "Advertising is Creepy," hasn't been universally popular. Speaking at the OMMA Behavioral conference, Zaneis said he has received emails from people in the industry asking, "How am I going to get back to my mom and tell my mom that I do online advertising, when you're telling her that it's creepy and it's scary? Why did you have to do that?"
Nonetheless, Zaneis said, he's satisfied that the campaign -- which has delivered 600 million impressions (with a .06% click-through rate) since launching in December -- is a success. "The FTC loved it. Some of the industry folks hated it. Some of the consumer folks said it didn't go far enough. I think we hit the mark -- which is what we were going for."
The initiative is part of a broader push to stave off new laws by convincing policymakers that the industry can inform consumers about online ad targeting and allow them to choose whether to participate.
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) has said he plans to introduce privacy legislation this year. While the details of any planned bills still aren't known, the IAB fears that Boucher's bill would require companies to obtain Web users' opt-in consent before data is shared with third parties.
Along with the Advertising is Creepy campaign, the IAB also is touting a newly created icon that the industry hopes will appear near ads that are being served based on behavioral or other data.
Zaneis added that the IAB plans to continue its outreach efforts. "We can't become stagnant as an industry, like we did for the past 10 years," he said.