For the study, Gfk surveyed more than 1,000 people in March. Overall, only around one in three (35%) said they agreed with the statement “I use free services online and on smartphones/tablets and don't mind if my data is potentially also used for advertising purposes.”
The proportion of people who agree varies significantly by age, with a slim majority (around 51%) of respondents younger than 35 saying they didn't mind if their data was used for ad purposes. Only 37% of Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1979) agreed with the statement, as did 24% of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and 16% of people born before 1946.
At the same time, many respondents indicated that they liked tailored ads. Overall, 49% of respondents said they agreed with the statement “Advertising that is tailored to my needs is helpful because I can find the right products and services more quickly."
Last year the trade group Digital Advertising Alliance said that a study it commissioned found that 40.5% of people surveyed prefer ads tailored to their interests to “generic” ads.
But other studies have found that a large proportion of consumers dislike tailored ads. Five years ago, the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law reported that 66% of consumers don't want tailored ads.