Consumers in favour of targeted marketing if they have opt-out option

Consumers are in favour of viewing adverts targeted at them, and don’t mind the use of cookies in getting it, as long as they can see information on it and have the choice to opt-out, says research by Specific Media in co-operation with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

The research came as part as digital specialist Specific Media’s study into the media consumption of online consumers, and comes at the same time as it is announced consumers do not like to give personal details online.

Ian Dowds, UK senior vice president of Specific Media, said: “It’s important that we understand how consumers feel about online advertising, so that we can, as a company and an industry, provide clear information for consumers to make informed decisions.

“This series of research will help shape our approach, adapt to changes in EU legislation, and ensure we’re delivering a service that meets the needs of consumers and advertisers.

“We take online privacy and consumer experience very seriously and are proud to be at the forefront of developing industry best practice. This research is testament to that.”

The qualitative research found that consumers who understand what cookies do are more open to the concept than those who do not; consumers do not understand the technology behind targeted adverts, even though they recognise they are targeted; and that consumers are in favour of more information and an opt-out choice even if they do not use it.

Nigel Gwilliam, digital consultant at IPA said, “The IPA really welcomes initiatives like this one from Specific Media and we were impressed to be consulted about it in advance.

“The industry can only benefit from a better understanding of consumer attitudes toward online privacy.

“This is essential to retaining consumer trust and ensuring the sustainable growth of smart online advertising.”

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