Ads Stalk Consumers Online
Ever get the feeling you’re being followed online? Well,
as an article on AdAge.com points
out, you are.
The author of the piece, Michael Learmont, described a recent
experience where he did a search for shorts on Zappos. Following his visit,
which did not result in a purchase, Mr. Learmont noticed the same items in
his search were showing up on ads on a wide variety of sites he visited.
"As a media professional covering online advertising, among other things,
I know why I’m getting these ads," Mr. Learmont wrote. "But as a
consumer I’d be creeped out by it, and definitely a little annoyed, kind of
like the morning my Facebook connections started popping up on sites around
Mr. Learmont questions whether the type of targeting being done
in this case makes sense for online merchants over the long haul. While it
was easy enough to determine the why behind all the ads showing up for shorts
as he browsed online, that does not make it any less annoying. "If the
industry is truly worried about a federally mandated ‘do not track’ list akin
to ‘do not call’ for the internet, they’re not really showing it," he
Discussion Questions: Do you see ads that follow consumers online as doing
more good or bad to the reputations of retailers and brands? Does this activity
make it more or less likely that the government will create a "do not track" list
for companies advertising online?