Consumers Dislike Targeted Ads, Resent Privacy Intrusion

In order to justify their aggressive data-tracking practices, marketers, publishers and platforms have long argued that consumers want more relevant ads.

“People consistently tell us that if they’re going to see ads, they want them to be relevant,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in The Wall Street Journal, earlier this year.

Yet, some new research suggests consumers actually find targeted ads to be rather irksome.

In fact, 79% of U.S. respondents say they consider targeted mobile ads to be “annoying,” per a study conducted by London-based mobile technology startup Ogury.

Ironically, in this age of unbridled social media use, the findings suggest consumers are becoming sensitive to perceived privacy intrusions.

“If users feel any form of intrusion, they will be annoyed regardless of the relevancy of the message,” Thomas Pasquet, cofounder-co-CEO of Ogury, notes in the new report.

Complicating matters, many consumers also feel negatively about irrelevant ads.

In total, 55% of U.S. respondents agreed that intrusive and irrelevant ads reflect poorly on the apps or mobile websites carrying them.

In response, brands, publishers and platforms should do their best to offer consumers more choices, according to Pasquet.

“Accept anonymous data to be collected to receive customized marketing, [or] opt-out from sharing data and therefore receive irrelevant ads, or pay a fair price in exchange for a marketing free and data collection free environment,” he suggests.

The study, which examined the attitudes of nearly 140,000 U.S. mobile users, also found 82% of users globally preferred to receive marketing messages through mobile ads or emails when given a choice.

Phone alerts, such as push notifications and texts, were the least popular method among respondents.

4 comments about "Consumers Dislike Targeted Ads, Resent Privacy Intrusion".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 11, 2019 at 9:27 a.m.

    What could be more intrusive than *any* unsolicited interruption? True, we are conditioned to accept commercials from an early age but they still signal wasted time waiting for the show to come back. True, they were a necessary evil years ago when the audience was anonymous to program providers and there was no other way to monetize content. Today, they only make sense for the intrusive peddlers, in a somewhat milder form than the storefront hawkers who accost you on some city streets.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, July 11, 2019 at 9:55 a.m.

    Ads pay the bills. Period. Subs do not. Information ads that do not annoy, do not track, not insulting, respectfully ask for your business---you get the picture ----are OK as long as the pod isn't too long. Snowblower ads, e.g. may want to be more geographically sensitive, but toothpaste not so much.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 11, 2019 at 10:04 a.m.

    Except without the ads, Douglas, you wouldn't have had "the show" to watch in the first place.

  4. John Grono from GAP Research, July 11, 2019 at 5:48 p.m.

    Actually, Douglas could accidentally be making a good point.

    • If there were no ads the income stream needed to up-front create a series of 30-minute or 60-minute TV shows would not exist.

    • Programmes would need to be a fifh to a tenth of current durations given the capital investment.

    • We could all be watching uninterrupted content!   Nirvana!

    • But instead of watching a 10-minute segment of a scriptedstructured one-hour programme we'd end up self-curating what to watch next every five or so minutes.

    • That works for short-form (e.g. the way I watch music clips on Youtube) but not for scripted content with many arcs in them.

    Personally, I'll take the ad-breaks to get the quality, and binge on old music clips online.

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