Comments on FTC “Behavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting and Technology” Town Hall
“Any discussion of online advertising must begin with an understanding of the critical role it plays in the publishing business and the tremendous value online publishers provide to American consumers.
“Online advertising allows OPA members to provide quality, free content to consumers globally. Online business practices, such as site usage tracking and content and behavioral targeting make this advertising particularly effective and significantly more valuable to consumers. Ultimately, these advertising tools make it possible for vast amounts of content to be available at no charge to the Web’s 148 million U.S. consumers.*
“Without online advertising and the tools that ensure its effectiveness, publishers simply wouldn’t be able to provide consumers with so much useful, desirable and free content. In fact, consumers have shown an understanding and appreciation for the relationship between ads and online content. As an example, the OPA recently found that more than half of online video viewers say they actually prefer watching ads in exchange for not having to pay for video content. And they want publishers to deliver ads that are relevant to their online experience – 56 percent of consumers prefer ads that relate to the video content they are viewing.
“The tools that make advertising an effective business model are the same tools that ensure that consumers’ online experiences are tailored to meet their needs. These are not only things that make the Web experience incredibly valuable; they are things that consumers have come to expect.
“It’s important to note that the quality content providers that make up the OPA hold themselves to the highest standards of editorial quality, integrity, and accountability. Throughout OPA Member companies, privacy and user data security are of the utmost importance. All OPA Members post privacy policies on their sites that address the collection and use of data, and any user that is affected by material changes to these policies is notified by email.”
* At home audience; Nielsen NetRatings, August 2007