Online Behavioral Advertising – will Indian portals self regulate?

Advertising Option Icon

Advertising Option Icon

Behavioral targeting or behavioural targeting is a technique used by online publishers and advertisers to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.

We publishers continuously work towards increasing CTRs of display ads. This usually happens if the reader sees “relevant” ads. On a job site ads related to jobs (resume preparation service, premier employer ads) makes a lot of sense. On a travel review site, ads related to travel make sense –  these are contextual ads.

But these days technology has matured to understand your behavior (from searches you have performed, sites you have visited) and it shows those ads irrespective of which site you are browsing. For e.g. if the system figures out you like travel related information, you will see travel related ads even on a non-travel site.

Privacy groups have raised their objection to users being profiled. Majority of US surfers reject behavioral targeting. Before US govt gets involved in regulating this entire thing, a coalition of publishers and ad networks have come up with this “Advertising Option Logo”. If you see this logo it means the ad was served through “behavioral targeting”.  Clicking on the image will tell you more and give you a link to a “Consumer Opt-Out Page, where consumers will be able to easily opt-out of some or all participating companies online behavioral ads.

If this becomes mandatory how do we show relevant ads to our users? Something else will come up else the CTRs will fall further.

So will we see this icon being used in India? Not anytime soon. If readers are getting to read content for free, they should be open to behavioral ads.

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