Posted by: singularlogic | April 23, 2009

Ads By Choice and Consumer Privacy

by Paul Douglas

Regular followers of media trends are likely aware of the latest brouhaha over consumer privacy. In short , Congress is considering drafting legislation that would regulate how online advertisers and content providers harvest and share personal information.

It’s a conundrum. How do you profile consumers without crossing the line, legal or otherwise? How can we afford to support quality content without selling our souls to big brother, so to speak?

At Singular Logic, we’ve been concerned over consumer privacy issues for years. Nobody wants companies monitoring their online behavior, for example. Our proposed solution allows consumers the choice to offer information about what they want from advertisers. That means advertisers can target based on user’s preferences, across all platforms: cable, online, mobile, and whatever next-gen technology is out there.

Since our technology facilitates permission-based, opt-in marketing, it renders the Big Brother question moot. Such technology will almost certainly accommodate any privacy legislation drafted now or in the future.

This investment in privacy is also an investment in consumer interest. My quest to personalize advertising started with the fifth Cialis commercial during a three hour football game years ago. At a certain point, you start to feel helpless to the whim of the advertiser. That helplessness is part and parcel of this debate over privacy.
If a consumer has skin in the game, and feels in control of the content, he or she will go back to their preferences as their family evolves, expands and grows. We use an ongoing dialogue with the consumer to filter the ads and serve up just the products/services that might be of actual interest.

It may be the biggest “duh moment” in the history of advertising: give people what they seem to want. Listen to them. Don’t calculate. Don’t track cookies, or go over to the dark side with behavioral targeting. ASK people what they prefer, what interests them, what they want, what they need.

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