Annenberg Study: Consumers Cool To Behavioral Marketing

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The majority of Americans do not want targeted behavioral marketing, online or off, according to a study released Wednesday by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Berkley Center for Law & Technology.

According to the study, 66% of adults said they did not want Web sites, ad networks or offline retailers targeting ads to them. Even a majority (54%) of younger consumers (18-24) "rejected" behavioral advertising, according to the researchers.

In addition, 92% of the respondents said there should be a law requiring Web sites and advertising companies to delete stored information if asked to, and 63% say their Internet activity should be deleted whether they requested it or not.

The study comes as Congress is working on a bill to regulate behavioral advertising and data collection and the Federal Trade Commission is looking into the issue as well. Companies argue that targeting marketing allows them to deliver ads more relevant to individual consumers. They have also adopted a voluntary code of standards on behavioral marketing.

The landline/cell phone poll was conducted June 18-July 2 by Princeton Survey Research Associates of 1,000 adult Internet users in the U.S. the margin for error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.6%

It was funded by the Rose Foundation and the Annenberg School for Communications.