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Entries from Digital Intelligence tagged with "behavioural targeting"

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Digital networked society: New cookies law reminds direct marketers to understand and respect data trails

Twenty years ago direct marketing focussed on postal mail and print adverts. As direct response TV grew, another channel was added within the framework of the discipline. The direct marketing skillset grew into a core discipline in digital marketing, and as new laws on privacy and the use of cookies arrive in the UK, Danny Meadows-Klue reflects that direct marketers need to be going further than the new legal framework if they’re to maintain the trust of their consumers.

Read "Digital networked society: New cookies law reminds direct marketers to understand and respect data trails" here >>


UK websites given extra year to comply with Cookie privacy law

Website operators have an extra year’s ‘grace period’ to change the way they use cookies to comply with new laws, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. From today, UK laws based on the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive will force websites to obtain users' consent in order to store cookies. Cookies are small text files that record user activity on websites. Cookies can be used for a variety of purposes, such as the analysis of consumer browsing habits or remembering payment details when buying products online.


26/05/2011  |  Full story...

Cookies, online ad regulation and the ‘you’ve been targeted button’

Latest news on the cookie saga comes from UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey who is pushing for a two-tier approach to the new EU regulations on the use of cookies in online marketing. They’re looking at working with browser manufacturers to get one-click approval for cookie downloads, while pushing the ad industry to group together to serve behavioural advertising cookies with more structure. Would a ‘behavioural targeting’ icon in the ad work for either the publisher or advertiser? Great that DCMS is being more pragmatic and sympathetic to the UK marketing industry and talking of “flexibility is essential for innovation and new business models.” But will this really give the result advertisers need, or will it boost opt-outs? Judge for yourself, here…

19/04/2011  |  Full story...

BT dodges bullet over secret Phorm trials

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped its investigation into whether BT’s Phorm technology unlawfully intercepted internet browsing data, due to ‘insufficient evidence’. BT started conducting secret trials of Phorm four years ago, sparking outrage from privacy campaigners. The technology examined Internet users’ browsing history to bring them personalised web content, as well as targeted advertising based on their interests.


12/04/2011  |  Full story...

LinkedIn ramps up targeted ads to users

LinkedIn is reportedly planning planning to update its technology to allow marketers to target ads based on factors including users’ job titles, location and age. LinkedIn's new tools will come in two parts. It will release an application programming interface that will allow large-scale advertising agencies, which manage and publish billions of ads seen across the Internet, to easily connect to the site, the WSJ said.

It is also adding features for its self-serve platform for individual advertisers to allow for more targeting. Before, self-serve advertisers could only target their display ads at members depending on company size, industry and gender.


03/02/2011  |  Full story...

Dennis Publishing trials behavioural targeting in UK

Dennis Publishing is testing a new behavioural targeting campaign across its roster of sites, in partnership with’s predictive behavioural targeting solutions will now be made available for Dennis Publishing’s portfolio of online campaigns.

It means that Dennis Publishing will be able to target their campaigns at audiences defined according to socio-demographics, lifestyle and product interests. Through integrating users’ click data with unique survey results,’s predictive behavioural targeting platform makes real-time target group contact possible.

01/02/2011  |  Full story...

Online behavioural advertising blocked – new threats from IE9

Microsoft has added a function to its Internet Explorer 9 web browser enabling users to designate sites which will be blocked from tracking their online behaviour. The new feature will allow users of Internet Explorer 9 to create and subscribe to lists of sites with which they don't want to share information, including ads that target people based on their surfing behavior.

The Wall Street Journal reported that this is the resurrection of a feature that Microsoft considered for an earlier version of Internet Explorer but dropped due to advertiser opposition. Microsoft execs couched it as part of their ongoing talks with regulators in Washington and Europe on the issue of web privacy.


10/12/2010  |  Full story...

Disney and Warner Bros accused of ‘spying on web users’

A number of high profile companies, including Disney and Warner Brothers, are being sued in the US for using a company that allegedly tracks the online activity of web users illegally.The complaint, filed last week in California, alleges that Disney, Warner Bros. Records, Ustream and others have installed illegal codes on millions of computers with the purpose of tracking the online activity of their owners.

The defendants are Clearspring Technologies, the company developing Flash-based technologies and its customers, which include Walt Disney Internet Group, Demand Media, Project Playlist, Soapnet, SodaHead, Ustream and Warner Bros. Records.


18/08/2010  |  Full story...

Mirror focuses on ‘audiences rather than impressions’ in online ad overhaul

Trinity Mirror Group is changing its existing advertising model on and through a partnership with Imagini. Trinity Mirror is moving from simply selling impressions to what it claims is a far more sophisticated system which will effectively allow them to 'sell audiences', using the online profiling specialists patented VisualDNA technology.

Imagini’s VisualDNA works by inviting internet users on a site to take part in a free online personality test via text links and display ads. The results are used to create highly detailed profiles with around 100 tags for each user based on their responses to questions revealing core demographic, location, lifestyle, attitudinal and motivational personality traits and specific brand preference data.


10/06/2010  |  Full story...

BBC iPlayer gets personal… and starts linking to rivals

The BBC has unveiled a new-look iPlayer with a simpler interface, higher-quality streams and more personalised content. The media player will also link to content on rival platforms and let users share shows via Facebook and Twitter. The iPlayer beta is now live and the corporation expects to launch the full version by the end of June.

New features include integration with Windows Live Messenger, a simplified user interface, a more personalised design and other social features. The new iPlayer will also list programmes from other catch-up services including ITV Player, 4oD, Demand Five and SeeSaw, and directly link to the programmes. Though this might seem like an unusual move, the BBC's director of future media and technology Erik Huggers explained that it wanted to double the amount of traffic it sent into "the broader ecosystem" but insisted that it would not be sharing any technology.


01/06/2010  |  Full story...

OFT urges more transparency for personalised ads online

The Office of Fair Trading is calling for sites to clearly identify which are “personalised” advertisements based on their previous web browsing habits. Behaviourally-targeted ads collect information through “cookies”, tiny files which are placed on a user's computer after their first visit to a website. The OFT is concerned about the misuse of personal data and says it raises concerns about privacy.

Heather Clayton of the OFT said: “The OFT is keen to engage with industry players and consumer groups while behavioural advertising is in its relative infancy. Discussions now about the potential for both benefits and harm, and how consumer protection legislation applies, will stand us in good stead in the event that industry action proves ineffective.”

The revenue from online behavioural advertising is currently between £64m and £95m, but this looks set to rise significantly in the future.


26/05/2010  |  Full story...

Police called in again to investigate BT’s Phorm trials

The Crown Prosecution service (CPS) are once again investigating whether they have a case to go to court over BT's trials of Phorm back in 2006. The Police initially looked in to BT's use of Phorm’s behavioural targeting technology, back in September 2008 before deciding that no criminal offence had been committed. The trials took place in Autumn 2006.

However, according to IT news site, The Register, the CPS have once again called in the City of London Police. The CPS have received technical and expert evidence on the case and have now brought the City of London Police back in assist in ongoing enquiries.


18/05/2010  |  Full story...

Online behavioural ad technology Phorm launches, but not in Europe

Behavioural ad targeting technology group Phorm has announced the commercial launch of its Open Internet Exchange platform in Brazil.

After months of inactivity, the company has now announced that it will be working with Brazil's leading ISPs to deploy its new Web Discover service in the country. The firm claims to have $5.6 million of advertising pre-booked for the roll-out. The announcement has sparked a mini-rebound for Phorm's share price, which plummeted after its prospects of a UK launch collapsed last summer.


29/03/2010  |  Full story...

Google expands personalised search to non-account holders

Google' has begun tracking the search behaviour of all its users to offer more refined results and targeted ads, expanding the service beyond those with a Google account. The move will see Google using a cookie placed on users' machines to track their search behavior and offer personalised recommendations, even when they are not logged into a Google account.


08/12/2009  |  Full story...

Google buys ad targeting firm Teracent

Google has bought ad targeting software firm Teracent for an undisclosed sum.The move will give the search giant software that will help its display ads better target web users. Teracent's software selects elements of ads, such as images and colors, that can be optimized for users based on criteria such as geographic location and language. Teracent was founded in 2006, and is based in California.


01/12/2009  |  Full story...

Consumers still in the dark over online privacy rights

Consumers need more information and education about online privacy and online behavioral advertising (OBA), according to new research. The study, from the Internet Advertising Bureau and business law firm Olswang, found that 72% of internet users are unaware of online behavioral advertising – the practice used to deliver relevant advertising based upon previous web browsing activity. In addition, 81% of internet users do not know the control they have over behavioral advertising, in particular their right to opt-out.


01/11/2009  |  Full story...

New ad targeting tool for online gamers

comScore has launched GamePlan, an audience targeting tool for gaming publishers and developers. The tool which combines comScore’s broadly used consumer digital behavior with a comprehensive longitudinal measurement of consumer attitudes, behaviors and lifestyle attributes. GamePlan is part of the comScore Plan Metrix product suite, and lets game publishers and developers can use GamePlan to quantify, validate and improve their digital gaming strategies.

19/10/2009  |  Full story...

10% of US display ads ‘are locally targeted’

Approximately 10% of online display ads in the US are locally targeted, according to a new comScore study of four American cities. The study is based on a new capability from comScore of identifying local advertisers in a particular market in this case four major U.S. markets: Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC. The study found that between 9 and 11 percent of display ads in the four markets among all publisher sites were locally targeted. San Francisco (11 percent) and Washington D.C. (11 percent) had a relatively higher share of ads being locally targeted, while Atlanta (10 percent) and Chicago (9 percent) were slightly lower.


13/10/2009  |  Full story...

UK consumers get universal opt out for targeted ads

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched a site dedicated to providing consumers with clear and easy-to-understand information about online behavioural advertising including a one-stop ‘opt out’ page. The site aims to educate consumers about online ads based on an individual user’s surfing habits, such as the controversial technology behind Phorm. The new site includes a ‘quick facts’ download and five top tips to help them protect their privacy online. The site launch, supported by pay per click activity, coincides with companies completing the first stage of compliance with the IAB’s Good Practice Principles.

09/10/2009  |  Full story...

Sky Player to run targeted TV commercials

Sky is to launch its new AdSmart service on its Sky Player early next year, giving TV advertisers the chance to target commercials at consumers based on their location and opt-in preferences. The service will combine customer information, for example postcode or chosen Sky package, with information from external sources such as customer surveys. Sky will then use this information to customise ad slots around a particular programme so that different ads are seen in different households. AdSmart will initially run on Sky Player's online line-up of on-demand programmes, with plans to extend the service to live channels on Sky Player in the future.


01/10/2009  |  Full story...

Phorm confident of ad software despite $15m loss

Phorm said it is making "good progress" towards deploying its controversial advertising software, despite hitting major setbacks this year. The Internet tracking technology company has managed to narrow its losses this year. Loss before tax was $15m, compared to a loss of $24m a year earlier. Phorm uses technology that stores information on the sites web-users visit so that they can be targeted with advertising on other pages.

23/09/2009  |  Full story...

Nokia plans 'mobile bank accounts'

Nokia is planning to launch a mobile financial service targeting consumers, mainly in emerging markets, with a phone but no banking account. The Nokia Money service is based on the mobile payment platform of Obopay, a privately-owned firm that Nokia invested in earlier this year. The mobile phone maker is now building up a network of agents ahead of its planned launch next year. Obopay, which uses text messaging and mobile internet access, charges users a fee to send money or to top up their accounts.

01/09/2009  |  Full story...

OFT to probe misleading ads online

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to look into potential misleading adverts and their effect on consumers, with a particular focus on the internet.Set to launch this autumn, the watchdog will evaluate which online and offline pricing and advertising practices have potential to be most detrimental to consumers. It will also look at the practice of behavioural advertising – targeting adverts according to people's web surfing habits. Heather Clayton, senior director of the OFT's Consumer Market Group, asked business and consumer groups to come forward with suggestions for areas the study should examine. "The way that businesses advertise and price goods and services constantly evolves, and we need to keep up to date on how consumers view these adverts, and the types of advertising and prices which may mislead," she said.

20/08/2009  |  Full story...

Internet ads 'can be as effective as TV commercials'

The Internet can be as effective an advertising medium as television advertising, according to new research. The study, conducted by comScore in partnership with dunnhumbyUSA, looked into the effectiveness of online advertising in building retail sales of consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.

Over the course of twelve weeks, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40 percent of their target segment successfully grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9 percent. This compares to an average lift of 8 percent for TV advertising as measured by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and published in their research paper "How Advertising Works."

19/08/2009  |  Full story...

Google trials behavioural advertising

Google has launched a trial of behavioural targeted display advertising across its content network and YouTube, writes Marketing. The firm has dubbed the service "interest-based advertising" and it is in the process of approaching agencies and advertisers with a view to signing them up to a global beta test. By using a DoubleClick cookie stored on a browser the service can build up an anonymous profile of a user's interests based on YouTube video views, Google network content views and advertiser sites visited. Users can choose to opt out by using Google's "Ads Preferences Manager".
This month Google has also launched its Street View mapping service for the first time in the UK, providing 360-degree views of 25 cities throughout the country. Partners involved in the launch include Visit Britain,, the office of the London Mayor and the Tate group. The service can be accessed using Google Maps and Google Earth.
From Marketing Magazine:, 11/03/2009


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