Consumer’s should have control over the advertisements they see on the Internet – correct? We are living in a free country aren’t we? One thing Ruck and I have had many discussions about over the last several months is the threat things such as “do-not-track” (DNT) browser standards pose to our industry.
Since 1998 I’ve made my full-time living online with a lot of it coming directly from targeted advertisements. From owning websites that serve millions of impressions yearly to purchasing inventory on other websites; I generate income by being able to target consumers through the Internet. The new Microsoft Internet Explorer version 10 automatically has these DNT features set allowing it extremely difficult for advertisers to accurately target consumers.
By any means I do not believe in cookie stuffing, malware, or installing any type of tracking that would violate a user’s privacy. However I do believe as advertisers we should have the ability to be able to target our audience based on the type of websites they visit. It’s likely you’ve noticed the AdChoices logo at the top right of many advertisements. If a consumer doesn’t like the advertisement they’re seeing they can simply opt-out; it’s their choice. I’m for this. However, I do not believe this choice should be made by default for them.
I’m not the only person that feels this way as the Interactive Advertising Bureau issued a media release today supporting the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) position against machine-driven “do-not-track” (DNT) browser standards, because they restrict consumer control and freedom of choice:
The DAA’s statement addresses publishers’ concerns about what will happen if they do not honor IE10-imposed DNT flags. DAA, the digital advertising industry’s self-regulatory body, does not require companies to honor DNT signals fixed by browser manufacturers and set by them in browsers. Specifically, it is not a DAA principle or in any way a requirement under the DAA standards to honor a DNT signal that is automatically set in IE10 or any other browser. The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) will not sanction or penalize companies that ignore the default settings on IE10 or other browsers and intermediaries. In contrast, the DAA and CBBB will continue to impose disciplinary measures on companies that violate legitimate consumer choices under the “AdChoices” self-regulation program.
At the end of the IAB’s media release they note that a recent study conducted at Harvard Business School determined that the ad-supported Internet ecosystem was responsible for 5.1 million jobs and contributed $530 billion to the United States economy in 2011 alone. As Internet Marketers and Online Advertisers we’re going to have to speak up as this stuff is no joking matter. A huge threat is not only posed to people like myself but the entire Internet.