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Advertising Privacy Essay

1948 words - 8 pages

Intrusive Advertising and Privacy Concerns

The concept of consumer privacy encompasses a consumers ability to limit the collection and usage of certain types of data relating to a specific transaction (Sheehan & Gleason, 2001). Today marketers and advertisers have engaged in what I feel to be somewhat questionable behavior in regards to consumers privacy. As technology becomes more sophisticated marketing becomes is a bit more complicated and more intrusive to its customers. In our highly competitive world, it is vital for a successful marketer to conduct a significant amount of research. It used to be however, that advertisers would choose their target audience, research the demographic, and create a campaign that appealed to that target audience. Marketing efforts today are going to great lengths to obtain private information about consumers. From an advertising standpoint it is important to know your customer and to target them accordingly, but how much should advertisers know? Do consumers have any right to privacy? The following will discuss intrusive tactics marketers are using to advertise and obtain consumer information as well as how advertisements themselves are invading our privacy.
     Television has traditionally been the most popular medium for advertising however with new satellite television products like TiVo; advertising to consumers has been increasingly difficult. OpenTV Corp., a San Francisco-based technology company is one step ahead with trying to combat the affects of TiVo with interactive TV software. The software will be sold to cable companies such as Comcast and satellite companies such as EchoStar. This software will allow cable companies to conduct "telescoped advertising," which would allow them to target TV ads to individual households based on viewing and buying habits. Although “telescoped advertising” has created a buzz in advertising centers, privacy advocates has raised concerns. With Interactive TV applications companies could track viewing habits and possibly build elaborate consumer profiles. Companies would use their database systems, third party vendors, and public records to see who were past purchasers or owners of their product. The company would then contract with cable and satellite companies to send their advertisement only to those households. The ad would include an interactive message on the screen that would ask if you to click for more information. The advertisement would then proceed in a longer more detailed version (Wehner & Shanley, 2005). OpenTV Corp is only one company out of many that are obtaining personal information about us and using it to their advantage.
     Visible World is a New York firm that is also trying to find ways to make television advertising more appealing to consumers. Not only are they looking to target households demographically and geographically they...

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