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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big marketers to begin a push for higher ad-transparency this week, will use "power eyes" to tell users how they were targeted for ads

Big marketers to begin a push for higher ad-transparency this week, will use "power eyes" to tell users how they were targeted for ads

It appears that "privacy" and "transparency" are more than just the latest buzzwords to hit the online community. This week, dozens of the biggest companies advertising on the Web today are banding together in an effort to regain some of the trust that's been lost over the years due to ads. Alright, let's just be honest about it then; while regaining a modicum of the consumer's trust is an added bonus, they're probably a bit more worried about pending legislation that could force them to take much more drastic measures should they continue along the path they've been traveling. Whichever way you slice it, targeted ads will be changing soon.

Companies like Microsoft, AMEX, AT&T, and many others are all looking to get serious about self-policing when it comes to targeted advertising on the Internet. The plan is to begin testing a new function that will be layered on top of pre-existing ads; it will allow users to see just how they were targeted and, therefore, shown those ads. Theoretically, each ad will get a smallish icon in its upper right-hand corner; they're calling that icon a power eye. Don't worry, it's not just you; power eye really is a cheesy name for it.

When a user mouses over the power eye in an ad, they will be shown why they were targeted for the display of that particular ad, and they will be able to opt-out of that specific targeting on the spot. It's a bit like Facebook's "I don't like this ad" feature (and, hopefully, much less "buggy"). Advertisers will get usable data from this as well, since it will show which targeted ads are least tolerated by the consumer and which aren't minded at all. Also, simply opting-out of ad targeting with the power eye doesn't preclude users from seeing ads; it means that the particular ad they've opted out of will no longer haunt them, and the company behind the ad will no longer cyberstalk them for the purpose of selling that particular product. If people don't notice the power eyes, or if they're using ad-blocking software, plug-ins, proxies, or other ad-blocking methods, they won't be affected by this at all.

These so-called power eyes are apparently quite aptly named, too. They're supposed to look like "a cross between an eye and a power button." Oh those clever admen!


Personally, I use the Firefox add on called Adblock Plus:

Blurb from there Web Site...

Save your time and traffic

Annoyed by adverts? Troubled by tracking? Bothered by banners? Install Adblock Plus now to regain control of the internet and change the way that you view the web. You can also choose from over forty filter subscriptions to automatically configure the add-on for purposes ranging from removing online advertising to blocking all known malware domains.

I've used ABP for several years now, it works great and I now hate Surfing the Web without it!;)


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