Only 26% of parents like personalisation and 80% fear kids will see inappropriate ads

Only a quarter of parents like personalisation and 80% worry about inappropriate ads interrupting kids’ browsing time

Just over one quarter of parents in the UK are keen on the idea of personalised ads, with eight in 10 saying they would like more control over which ads follow them online.

The figures come from a survey conducted by parenting platform Mumsnet in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi which questioned over 1000 parents and found that just 26% had warmed to personalisation.

While close to half (46%) agreed personalisation was the future, 58% believed their data should stay private. 81% of parents said they would like to be given the option to opt out of which ads were able to pop up in their browser based on their online history, while the majority admitted to a knowledge deficit on the issue, saying that they didn’t know what happened behind the scenes before they were served digital ads.

Respondents were more comfortable with family brands targeting them based on search rather than using data stored about their online habits. For example, 72% would be comfortable with seeing ads from John Lewis based on their search history, with 71% saying the same about Ikea and 68% saying the same about Lego.

However, in terms of data-based targeting the preferences were revered and comfort levels never rose above 36% - Heinz was the highest rated, while Sky and Nintendo came out at the bottom at 27%.

With shared devices becoming more common, 79% of respondents said that they were worried about ads for adult products popping up when their children use their devices.

“It’s in nobody’s interests to show people ads they don’t want to see, or that make them scrabble for the ‘close tab’ button,” said Mumsnet chief executive Justine Roberts. “If personalised advertising isn’t done sensitively, the risk is that users will opt for the nuclear ad-blocker option. Transparency is absolutely key: web users need to be consulted, to feel informed, and to be offered tools that allow them to easily opt out.”

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.