06
January
2010
|
09:19 PM
America/Los_Angeles

Online Ads Are Creepy Warns Online Ad Assocation


The recent fuss over privacy controls related to Facebook seems to have motivated the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to step up its Privacy Matters campaign, launched late last year.

The IAB represents "more than 375 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States."

Obviously, it has a vested interest in defending online advertising from misinformation about privacy issues around advertising, which quite frankly, can be creepy.

Which is why it is refreshing to see its "Advertising Is Creepy" ads which will direct you to a site that explains the history of advertising and reminds people:

For as long as there's been advertising, advertisers have aimed to target their ads to the right audience.

Clearly, the IAB seems to be saying is nothing to worry about in regards to online advertising, advertising has been trying to do such targeting since the beginning.

In smaller type on the same page, the IAB points out that "Before you worry about loss of privacy, remember that you have the choice to turn off targeting practices."

Translating this, the IAB warns people that It's an opt out world rather than opt-in, and you have given tacit approval to the advertisers to be targeted because you took no action to stop them.

I'd like to commend the IAB for highlighting the creepy nature of targeted advertising and for doing nothing to spin it into some positive story. Instead, the IAB reminds us of the insiduous nature of advertising since its very beginnings.

This exemplifies truth in advertising - and it is done through example -- not through some empty intentions.

The IAB campaign