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  Network54  >>  Group 3: Targeted Advertising without Constraints

Group 3: Targeted Advertising without Constraints

Instructions: Discuss your views, opinions, and supporting arguments on the issue of targeted advertising without constraints (e.g. using and selling consumer information).

Support your comments with your experiences, values and supporting arguments from readings and research. Post a minumum of three messages each week to your discussion (from Tuesday to following Tuesday), and try to reply to other's comments and questions. After you've discussed a range of viewpoints, compare and contrast views and arguments to establish a common ground.

Click here to read about the different ways you can contribute to a group discussion. For other help, email Allan Jeong.


Privacy
by

I think privacy is one of the ethical issue related to targeted marketing on the Internet.

For example, the cookie planted on visitors' hard drives can collect data and make our profiles such as habits, tastes, etc. What if the information about us becomes available to anyone else either on purpose or mistakenly without our knowledge?
How can we protect our privacy and prevent others from misusing my information? Personally, I don't want to compromise my privacy for any reasons.

Posted on Nov 25, 2000, 1:01 PM

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Awareness
by

I think the most important issue behind targeted marketing is ¡®awareness'.

In case of Internet targeted marketing, Internet users are not aware of whether their information was routed to targeted marketing company like ¡®Doubleclick¡¯ or not. Even though users are aware of that their information may be sent to somewhere and used for targeted marketing, they don¡¯t know to whom and to where their information will be sent, either.

It is important that people should know the information flow in targeted marketing process because people have a right to control what degree their privacy should be exposed to. Although targeted marketing is often very convenient and useful for the customers, the level of exposedness of privacy is different from each other. So customers should be given the rights to know the process and the rights to control their privacy.

Posted on Nov 26, 2000, 1:30 PM

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two examples of targeted advertising
by

OK, so we talked about Joe Camel and his advertising to young kids.

How about this ad campaign?

Toyota - New Camary commercial. The tune is "love is in the air" and it shows a young man driving a Camary and getting looks from beautiful women. Phrases flash across the screen: commitment, stability, faithfulness etc.

Clearly the target is the young male that's looking to settle down and start a family, or at least get a girlfriend. Toyota is saying to these men that the Camary is what women are looking for in a man.

Is this targeted advertising for something good OK, and Joe Camel advertising something bad for minor’s bad?

Posted on Nov 17, 2000, 10:47 AM

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Are we to debate targeted advertising, or the manner in which it is employed.
by Rod

The whole point of marketing is to tell your story to someone that is interested in hearing it, i.e. targeted advertising.

Targeting that advertising at inappropriate or illegal audiences is another issue all together (i.e. Budweiser targeting 6 year olds, or recovering alchoholics). Maybe that is what we should consider.

I guess I'm still looking for a debatable issue here.

Posted on Nov 17, 2000, 5:54 PM

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Where do we draw the line with targeted ads?
by

I agree that the whole point of marketing and advertising is to target specific segments of the market. This is why toy commercials are on during cartoons on Saturday mornings, baby items and feminine products are advertised during daytime tv, and beer and cars are advertised during football games. Advertising is targeted so that it has the most impact on a segment of the market that the product is "made for".

However, some limits must be set, such as is the case when targeting children with ads using a cartoon character when the product is cigarettes. But where should the line be drawn? Can cigarette ads target teenagers? Should there even be cigarette ads that target adults? And what if a cartoon character, instead of advertising for cigarettes, was advertising for an expensive toy. Should children be targeted in this case?


Posted on Nov 20, 2000, 9:52 PM

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Is it too demanding for advertisement
by Cyndi Zhang

There are quite a few critics about "bad" advertisement -- examples are cigarretts, violence and so on. But do you think no such "bad" advertisement will improve something -- no smoking, less violence? It seems to me that's what people want to achieve.

I don't think so. Put it in a simple way: what we see in advertisement reflects the reality. How to change the reality is another issue.

"Bad" advertisement is the result, not the cause, to some extent.

Posted on Nov 21, 2000, 3:32 PM

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"bad" advertisement
by Jason Bemis

"Bad" ads glorify things that some people accept as part of their lives. "Bad" ads should be allowed to continue because people will pay some company for a good or service that supports these habits. Who cares if everyone is exposed to it? It is their prerogative to tune it out.

Posted on Nov 21, 2000, 8:11 PM

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Do we really have a choice to tune out ads?
by

Ok...I agree that we have the choice to buy or not buy cigarettes. BUT...ads do put the idea that cigarettes are "cool", "glamorous" or the "norm" into people's heads. Without all of these images, would society really think it is cool to inhale a burning substance that gives bad breath and yellow teeth? Probably not. In addition, some "ads" aren't actually in the form of advertisements. Tobacco companies pay big bucks to movie producers to get the lead actors/actresses to smoke during movies. Without that image constantly in our faces, people might not be so tempted to try it.

Posted on Nov 22, 2000, 1:12 PM

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smoking on the decline
by Jason Bemis

I heard recently on AM radio that cigarette smoking is on the decline. Is it because there is less advertising for cigarettes as well as more anti-smoking ads?

Posted on Nov 27, 2000, 12:06 PM

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not a cause, but a result.
by

I agree that advertisement is much of a result to the way issues are treated and products are used than their cause.

Here we could use the music industry as a good example. Is an "artist" contributing to the violence when their videos show drugs, guns, luxury cars, and portray a lifestyle that is moraly questionable? or is it more of a reflect of the reality?

On the other hand is the question of competitivity. How is a product going to survive in a marketplace if it's not by competing at the same level and using similar tools?

Posted on Nov 24, 2000, 12:47 AM

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Should limits be set?
by Rod

An interesting quesiton arises here: does setting limits on what may be communicated in advertisements represent a form of censorship? If we were arguing that the content of TV programs should be limited (no gay characters, no smoking, no foul language, no praying, etc.) there would be immediate reaction that we were discussing censorship. Doesn't regulation of advertising content also represent censorship?

Also, this raises the question: can advertisements be held to a higher scrutiny of content than the TV programs the are broadcast with?

Posted on Nov 26, 2000, 4:26 PM

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Someone has to be second - Pro targeting too, but with reserves.
by

As long as targeting helps a company to better meet the needs and expectations of the demanding customer by offering an improved service, I think it's great. It's also an extremely useful marketing tool, especially when used through the internet.

But there's also the question of confidentiality. How comfortable is a customer going to be when a retailer has access to information you weren't aware it was going to be used in such a way? How ethical is it for this retailer to offer an item at a higher price to a customer that will surely buy it?

Posted on Nov 17, 2000, 2:05 AM

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A potential debatable point
by Rod

Oscar,
You bring up an interesting point. If we look at direct sales (such as telemarketing) based on data collected from third party sources (such as driver's license data, student enrollment, shopping club memberships) that was not voluntarily given, we might be able to find something to talk about.
If we take this view, I am opposed to the sale or exchange of my personal information by sources that have not received my permission to do so.

Posted on Nov 17, 2000, 6:03 PM

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A sometimes neccesary evil...
by

I'm also against the idea of any corporation (or a group of them) having access to information I didn't agree to disclose in the first place, but, it's also a requirement for a customer in today's efficient e-commerce, as well as in tele-marketing.

For example, if I'm going to buy a book at Amazon.com, I won't be able to enjoy the convenience, great prices, wide variety, and seamless customer service they offer unless I give at least my name, mailing address, and credit card number.

Shouldn't it be mandatory for the retailer to provide the customer with the option of deciding whether or not this information is to be kept in private?

Posted on Nov 18, 2000, 1:21 AM

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choices to customers
by

Yes. I agree that retailers not resell customers information unless customers give retailers the permissions. In fact, reselling customers' information is quite unfair to customers. For instance, I use $10 to buy a textbook from Amazon.com. It seems to be a bargain. In fact, there is an additional cost to this book: the cost of being disturbed by the tele-marketing and junk mails for my whole life. To be an ethical bookseller, Amazon.com should provide two choices to me: (1) $8 (say) plus permission of re-selling my personal information, or (2) regular price $10 and keeping my personal information in private. Probably, Amazon.com will not accept my suggestion and insist to sell the book at $10. But I think they should at least let me choose whether I want to release my information to others.

I know, usually, retailers will incorporate a "permission of reselling customers' information" condition into the conditions of sale (you can see it in the conditions of credit card). Therefore their information resale behavior is legalized. But I do not think it is ethical since retailers only provide customers with two choices: "buy the goods and allow them to resell customers' information" or "don't buy it".

In fact, some places (e.g. Hong Kong) have already enacted laws to require retailers to offer purchasers choices: giving permission to retailers to resell purchasers' information or not. Probably, enacting a law may be one of the solutions to this problem.

Posted on Nov 19, 2000, 8:22 PM

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choices to customers
by

Yes. I agree that retailers not resell customers information unless customers give retailers the permissions. In fact, reselling customers' information is quite unfair to customers. For instance, I use $10 to buy a textbook from Amazon.com. It seems to be a bargain. In fact, there is an additional cost to this book: the cost of being disturbed by the tele-marketing and junk mails for my whole life. To be an ethical bookseller, Amazon.com should provide two choices to me: (1) $8 (say) plus permission of re-selling my personal information, or (2) regular price $10 and keeping my personal information in private. Probably, Amazon.com will not accept my suggestion and insist to sell the book at $10. But I think they should at least let me choose whether I want to release my information to others.

I know, usually, retailers will incorporate a "permission of reselling customers' information" condition into the conditions of sale (you can see it in the conditions of credit card). Therefore their information resale behavior is legalized. But I do not think it is ethical since retailers only provide customers with two choices: "buy the goods and allow them to resell customers' information" or "don't buy it".

In fact, some places (e.g. Hong Kong) have already enacted laws to require retailers to offer purchasers choices: giving permission to retailers to resell purchasers' information or not. Probably, enacting a law may be one of the solutions to this problem.

Posted on Nov 19, 2000, 8:23 PM

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ALL advertising is targeted
by Rod

The entire purpose of advertising is to relay a message to a specific target audience. How can anyone be opposed to it?

Posted on Nov 16, 2000, 7:00 PM

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Can Someone Define Targeted Advertising?
by Rod

It would be easier for me to post a response if I knew exactly what we were discussing.

Posted on Nov 16, 2000, 8:43 AM

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Someone has to be first - Pro Targeting
by

I feel information about consumer purchasing habits is valuable information.

Companies will gather this information for marketing purposes if it will save them money and put them closer to their potential consumers.

Traditional marketing campaigns can be very expensive and very ineffective. Targeting is a good way to utilize marketing dollars.

Posted on Nov 14, 2000, 7:16 PM

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