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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.


Interesting new agreement among movie production companies
by

I was watching tv on Thanksgiving and saw, on CNN, an interesting story about a new agreement that many big film production companies have agreed to. Basically, they have all agreed NOT to show previews to rated R movies prior to lesser rated (maybe just G) movies. Basically, they've decided not to target their R rated movies to kids.

I can't remember what the agreement was called...wish I had paid more attention.

Posted on Nov 28, 2000, 9:40 PM

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good move
by Cyndi Zhang

If they can just produce less R rated movies, that should be even better.

While kids are assumed to be influenced by media, the same is true for adults.

Posted on Nov 30, 2000, 5:06 PM

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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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how detailed is the information?
by Jason Bemis

What information does Double click actually get their hands on? If I visit a website and someone tracks that information without my knowledge so what?

Should companies have to ask for permission if they are going to sell your address or phone #?

Posted on Nov 29, 2000, 1:48 PM

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how to self protect
by Cyndi Zhang

I agree won ykung that customers should be given rights to protect privacy. I just bought something on line before Thanksgiving. Ever since then, everyday I got at least 3 or 4 "promotion" emails. I don't know how they get my email address. The only thing I can think about is from the website that I did buy stuff.

That being said, but, how can we, as customers, track the information flow? I'm not so sure if I can do that. I believe we need a third party/govenment intervention here -- set up some authority to protect consumers' privacy.

Posted on Nov 30, 2000, 4:56 PM

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How it works and how to opt-out
by

When we hit the homepage of a company that subscribed to Internet targeted marketing company like Doubleclick.com, the home page puts a "cookie request" for, let's say, 'DoubleClick' Cookie.

Following web page of Doubleclick contains information of how they collect the customer's information and what kinds of information are collected. Also it contains how to opt-out cookie capabilities.

http://www.doubleclick.net/us/corporate/privacy/

Although browsers - IE or Netscape - display the warning messages before user's information is routed to other sites, most of the Internet users don't know exactly what will happen. Internet users should be given clear explanation before information goes to the other sites and also given easier way to opt out cookies. Balancing convenience and privacy should be up to customers.

Posted on Dec 2, 2000, 11:35 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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smoking scenes in movies
by

It's true that some youngsters smoke since they see the actors/actresses smoking in movies and try to imitate them. It is not easy to stop tobacco companies to market cigarettes in this way. But I do not support to ban smoking scenes from movies completely because in the real life, a lot of people do smoke and movies somehow need to reflect the reality. Maybe we just allow smoking scenes in the "R" and "NC-17" rated movies and so no youngsters can see this evil thing in the movies.

Posted on Nov 28, 2000, 8:16 PM

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Untitled
by Jason Bemis

Do you think international films ban smoking? I would think that it is not as censored for children.

Parents in the U.S. support drinking and smoking laws while europeans are more prone to teach awareness at a young age.

Posted on Nov 29, 2000, 1:55 PM

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Children may imitate blindly
by

We can compare the "smoking" scenes with "naked body and sex" scenes in the movie. "Sex" scenes are banned from movies that are not rated as "R" or “NC-17” since we think movie is not an appropriate medium to tell children what is sex. We feel that children are not mature enough to judge whether they are appropriate to have sex in their age. We are afraid that they will imitate blindly without knowing their responsibilities. But it does not mean that we do not allow children to know what is sex. We tell them in the school.

The same principle applies in smoking scene. I support to ban smoking scenes from the less than "R" rated films since I am afraid that they will imitate blindly. But it does not mean we do not let children know the reality. We just tell them in a more appropriate medium -- school. Let them understand the cost and benefit of smoking and choose their ways when they are adults.

Posted on Dec 7, 2000, 2:42 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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I disagree...I think ads do influence society...
by

To your first argument...I am assuming that you are saying that ads reflect reality and aren't the CAUSE of what really happens in real life(correct me if I'm wrong here!). What this means, if you extend your argument further, is that without advertising, everyone would still buy and use the products that they use now...in the same quantites. I disagree with that entirely. Ads definitely have influence over society...and ads do NOT reflect reality in many cases. How many people do you know that
buy a car and decide it would be fun to drive around naked like in an ad I just saw the other day.

Also..why do advertising companies use celebrities in advertising? Because they think that kids and people in general will want to emulate /be like people such as Michael Jordan or Cindy Crawford. Basically they expect us to be influenced by the content of the ads. And we are. I think we're getting a little bit off the topic here, but targeted ads can definitely have influence over people...particularly vulnerable people like kids and older adults (see one of my other postings for the elderly topic).

And..as an aside...I do think that videos/video games/violence in movies/etc do contribute to some of the problems that we're facing in society today. They create "norms" and glamourize things that, in reality, are not glamorous.

Posted on Nov 28, 2000, 9:32 PM

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I'm not sure I'm completely understanding your second arg...
by

I just want to make sure I'm clear...are you saying that if one company is targeting a certain group (violent video games to young kids) using certain tools(cartoons) in their ads that it is ok for another company (in the same market space...another video game co.) to use the same tools just to be competetive?

Posted on Nov 28, 2000, 9:36 PM

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not exactly...
by

I think it's not O.K. , but it's certainly what happens. In your example about violent video games targeted to young kids using cartoons, there's fierce competition between products like Nintendo, Playstation, Sega, etc. and it seems like a competition to see who can come up with the bloodiest and violent video game.

There are diametral differences between what should be done and what is actually done, but it seems to me those differences become somewhat blurry when there are no strict rules about the content of, lets say, a videogame.

Posted on Nov 29, 2000, 1:51 PM

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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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Have enough controls already
by

But I think controls on the advertisement content are already enough. First, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) has the Code of Advertising. All Better Business Bureaus' members are subject to the code. (Of course, not every advertiser is the BBB member.) Moreover, advertisements are well monitored by the general public. Whenever the content of an advertisement goes beyond the ethical standard of the general public, we can immediately see and hear a lot of complaints and criticisms about that advertisement in all media. Probably, that "unethical" advertisement will disappear from the media immediately. Therefore, I do not think further control on advertisement is required.

Posted on Nov 27, 2000, 11:05 PM

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Interested in hearing it...
by

This is a very complex issue I believe. The key to the statement you gave, Rod, is not whether a person is interested in hearing a commercial, but rather the how and where.

I'm sure that you have seen the news media use the First Amendment to practically knock down the doors of private homes to get a story. Now imagine that it your family has undergone some tragic event and a group of reporters are hounding you for more and more personal information to satiate the viewers.

I tend to equate targeted marketing approaches with the tactics of an overly zealous reporter. Attempts to ascertain and utilized even the most personal information to sell one more unit of product for their company. Although the intent of the reporter is to provide the news for the people, which is noble, the tactics used and the personal space violated often cannot be justified. Similarly, although the intent of the marketers is to "tell their story to someone that is interested in hearing it", the costs of making the sale seem too high for the would be consumer. Give us all of your personal information, trust us with that information, and we promise to sale you everything you need! Yeah, right.

Finally, awareness is the key. I'm willing to bet that if most people knew they were being surveilled when making purchases things would change. A customer would add that factor to the total cost and many would not purchase the product. If companies feel that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way they gather information for targeting customers, they should simply make public their tactics. Some form of a "sunshine law" would allow the populace to understand what customer information is gathered and how that data is used.

Sorry for the long response, but this is my first. They will be much shorter in the future.

Posted on Dec 2, 2000, 2:27 PM

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Uh, I can spell my own name...well, sometimes! :)
by Darren Burroughs

Posted on Dec 2, 2000, 2:29 PM

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companies not responsible for disclosure
by Jason Bemis

Companies that make the effort to gather information about their customers have the right to use it to market their products to their consumers. This consumer information also holds value to other companies that wish to purchase it. Consumers should have little control over how the information they disclose to companies is used.

However, I agree with Darren that companies should provide a disclaimer that how a consumer's information may be used.

Posted on Dec 4, 2000, 12:56 AM

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Limitations?
by Darren Burroughs

I do not dispute the right of a company to obtain general information about their customers. However, I believe there must be some limitations on what information is gathered and how it is used. For example, there is no doubt that a pharmaceutical company would love to have a list of all patients diagnosed as clinically depressed. Moreover, imagine how happy they would be to find out who has a genetic predisposition for certain diseases. They could target such individuals with literature, phone calls, and email advertising the drugs they offer for the disease.

Some might believe that it is good for an uninformed customer to receive such valuable information (I'm being very sarcastic here!). But I believe more people would question a company having that much personal information about the customer.

I realize this may be an extreme example, but I don't believe it is really that farfetched. Moreover, I adamantly disagree with the idea that a company should have such a right. There must be limits on what information is gathered, in addition to notice of how the information is used.

Posted on Dec 4, 2000, 3:21 PM

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I agree
by Jason Bemis

Your extreme example about clinically depressed people stated above does tread into very sensitive areas for prople. Medical records are the most guarded of information.

I agree that the amount of information gathered and how it is used should be limited, but how to we police it?

If a company makes that decision not to gather information, who's to say another company won't pursue it and gain a competitive advantage.

Has society really become fed up with targeted advertising or are we just going through a transition period where the companies will eventually "win"?

Posted on Dec 5, 2000, 9:55 AM

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Up to us my friend
by Darren Burroughs

That's the million dollar question. The Constitutional restraints placed upon governmental agencies force adherence to fairly strict standards regarding the acquisition and use personal information. However, no such restraints are imposed upon private organizations. Therefore, it is up to us, the consumers, to share our feelings on the matter and then respond accordingly.

While I personally do not believe that the free market is a reliable forum for addressing public issues and concerns, I do believe that when consumers work together in support of a cause, "big business" is bound to listen. With this particular issue, many people are unaware of just how much information marketers can obtain. Moreover, those who are aware typically yield personal information in order to conveniently make everyday purchases. My fear is that individuals are losing their ability to choose not to have their information transferred.

Nevertheless, my point is that a backlash effect would teach marketers just how far they can go without offending the privacy of thier consumers. Moreover, companies that disregard this public concern would most likely lose market share.

I hate to be so cynical, but I believe that it is too late to reverse the unfettered access to personal information many companies enjoy. The future of targeted marketing is rather unclear to me, and the addition of the Internet as a cheap, easy method of marketing merely exacerbates the problem. In addition, I believe that the federal government is quite reluctant about biting the hand that feeds it. "Big business" has so much political clout, I truly doubt that government officials will take a significant stance absent massive popular opinion. After all, there is also a right to commercial speech under the Constitution as well.

What do you think?

Posted on Dec 6, 2000, 1:37 AM

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out of control
by Jason Bemis

But who are corporations actually hurting? What harm is being done or laws broken? How can society come together against a concept they can't control? Corporations will always have access to personal information simply due to technological advances. My thought is that corporations will stretch the legal boundaries until they discover the efforts are not profitable i.e. hurting their image.

People have relatively short memories about good and bad marketing campaigns because we are always being bombarded by them.

Posted on Dec 7, 2000, 10:02 AM

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Answers
by Darren Burroughs

Frankly, I do not have all the answers. I agree that the public can be led around like sheep. Not because people are unintelligent or ignorant, but because the strength and power of huge institutions tend to overwhelm individual efforts. When you combine that with the busy lives of everyday people, it becomes very difficult to imagine a unified force against the abuse of personal information.

So, I do agree with your position that corporations will stretch the legal boundaries until it creates a decrease in profitability. Moreover, many questionable practices such as this exist in our society and the world, but are rarely addressed. Inaction, however, is a temporary solution at best, because the problems created manifest in other ways. For example, a companies database is somehow comprormised and the personal information is accessed and abused by the hacker. Will the company be liable or can they simply argue that we compiled that information to better serve the community? How much effort do these companies make to secure this data? How much of that information does the public know that the company has?

Unfortunately, people tend to be reactive rather than proactive. Therefore, the public is unlikely to react until a just such a crisis happens and enough people are harmed to create a coalition. A good example of this point is the "Joe Camel" ads. A very stong argument was made that the use of a cartoon character equated to marketing to children and teens. And there was a public effort to remove "Joe Camel." This effort, however, was the result of many factors including executives speaking out against the practices of their former employers. Lives were threatened and destroyed in an effort to create public awareness so that the environment was ripe for public scrutiny of "big tobacco." (if you want to see a story about one of these brave ex-tobacco execs get the movie, "The Insider")

Anyway, change can happen. But it takes societal unity against policy to change policy. My point with "Joe Camel" is that it can happen.

Blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry my messages are so damn long.

Posted on Dec 10, 2000, 2:31 PM

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Does it really works?
by

Although its benefits have been proven over the years, and this argument goes against marketing basics, I'm still a little bit reluctant about targeted marketing, especially through e-mail.

Whenever I see a letter from expedia, amazon, hp, or any other retailer in my e-mail's inbox, I sistematically erase it, without even openning it. That also applies for any unwanted letter, coupons, or anything of the like that in my mailbox.

Can the customer be so fed up with directed marketing, that it can harm sales instead of improving them?

Posted on Dec 7, 2000, 4:07 AM

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Agree
by

I do the same thing as you. Just erase all junk mails in my email inbox immediately and hang up my phone at once when I recognize it is a telemarketing call (I know that it is kind of impolite). Also, I will try to avoid buying products with brands that have sent me junk mails or telemarketing calls before since I do not want to suffer from their annoying mails or calls in my whole life. For me, absolutely, directed marketing harms sales.

Posted on Dec 7, 2000, 3:05 PM

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Indeed they can..
by Darren Burroughs

I often refuse to by a product from a company if they abuse my right to privacy through the use of unsolicited email, or telephone marketing. I believe that buying the solicitors product is similar to giving in to a baby if it keeps crying.

And I do believe that this generation is very aware of the heavy targeting we face from birth to death, and that this could create a strong backlash against advertising in general. Media such as commercial free radio and television are becoming more and more popular. Moreover, those commercials that do exist are often ignored due to changing the channel or flipping the page.

Posted on Dec 10, 2000, 2:40 PM

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Shouldn't we help the depressed?
by Rod

Darren,
I must disagree with a comment you made, wouldn't it be wonderful if all the people in this country that experience clincal depression were aware of all the treatment options available to them? Wouldn't that in fact be a benefit of targeted advertising?
If a company were to come out with a new HIV treatment, wouldn't you say it would be a good thing if they could immediately contact all people with HIV and tell them as soon as possible?
I agree that medical information is extremely sensitive, but if the customer has already conveyed that information to a company, shouldn't they be allowed to use it in a manner that may improve the customer's health and well-being?

Posted on Dec 10, 2000, 12:55 PM

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Lists
by Darren Burroughs

Professor, I must respectfully disagree with your position on this matter. Indeed, it is extremely important to enlighten those suffering from a disease about the possible treatment availabilities. However, that is the job of the physician, not the pharmaceutical company. In fact, the doctors and the companies usually have a strong relationship created for just that purpose.

Indeed, I am very suspicious of lists. A list that contains the names of every person who has HIV, or that is clinically depressed, or any other disease. I believe that the bearer of that list can do more harm than good, and that the commensurate responsibility demanded of having the list would be measured simply by it's profitbility. When AIDS and HIV first became a topic in the public discourse, the sufferers attempted to protect themselves from public awareness of their disease. Often individuals were shunned or attacked when it was discovered that they had the disease, and this affected the lives of the sufferer and their families.

Now, if a company has the ability to create and use such a list, I fear for the targeted consumer. Because companies are not bound by the same restrictions as the Government with regard to information, who would be liable for the harm caused if the "list" was compromised? How do you ever sue for all the harms suffered due to loss of privacy once that privacy has been breached?

Therefore, I do agree that it is important to get information to consumers. But at what cost and what say do the consumers really have in the process? It should be more than just the typical "free market" response, which says that if consumers are unhappy with the practices of the company they will not by the product. This particular example is much to important for such a simplistic solution.

Just my opinion.

Posted on Dec 10, 2000, 3:00 PM

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Untitled
by Rod

I think Jason brings up an interesting point. What if by targeting advertising (using information the have collected from customers) a company is able to reduce the volume of advertising it has to project to reach it's desired customers a sufficient number of times. Wouldn't this benefit society (and the advertiser) by reducing the excessive level of advertisements to which we are all exposed each day?

Posted on Dec 10, 2000, 12:48 PM

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and so...?
by

I'm sorry to play the devil's advocate here, but it just seems clear to me that if a company clearly states its purposes with the customers information, nobody would be willing to give any information.

Just for simplicity sake, and unless it's a very particular product only manufactured by one company (lets say a very unique drug...) I would buy any other brand that won't use my information over one that will.

Maybe here I'm coming back to my hatred against junk e-mails and spam letters, but that's just my personal opinion.

Posted on Dec 10, 2000, 9:27 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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Personal information getting into the wrong hands
by

I am very opposed to the selling of my personal information...I get way to many telemarketing calls and junk mail.

In another vein, another reason that we need to be careful of this selling of our info is that sometimes it gets into the WRONG HANDS.

In one case that I saw (ok..I think it was one of those magazine news shows so it may have been sensationalized a bit), a woman was stalked by a man who had gotten her personal information while he was in JAIL! Some telemarketing centers are located in jails because of the cheap labor...
In the same show, there were many instances of visa numbers and other information being used to rob people.

We really need to be careful with how this information is disseminated because it can become a safety issue.

Posted on Nov 28, 2000, 9:49 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
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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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