Your internet searches are safe

The recent Office of Fair Trading report into data privacy has thrust behavioural targeting into the spotlight again.

While I am completely behind the call by the Internet Advertising Bureau for more transparency into the use of behavioural targeting, people must learn the difference between behavioural targeting and behavioural advertising practices.

When most people think of behavioural targeting, they imagine it applies to ads pushed on them based on their complete online history. In fact it mainly applies to browsing behaviour on one site, so that the site owner can understand the most relevant content to present to users.

Profile building initially only involves anonymous records but, as the visitor builds trust in the brand or site and provides more information about themselves, these profiles become richer and will allow the site to contact the visitor with new content, messages and advertising.

The difference between this and behavioural advertising is that the information is not passed to third parties. Sites doing this should declare it to users and give visitors the chance to opt out.

Malcolm Duckett, CEO, Magiq


Arguing for intelligent design

Marketing Week

While it was music to my ears to hear clients talking about their design agencies taking a more strategic role (“Brands get to grips with the art of design”, MW 20 May), it was interesting to see the variety of views regarding what strategy is and at what stage to involve design agencies.

Spare the small ads

Marketing Week

No one should have been surprised by the leaked letter from the deputy chief executive of the Central Office of Information revealing 50% cuts to ad spend and further cuts in other areas. What is disappointing is that the coalition Government has set about cutting without engaging sector bodies to give independent advice and guidance on how to save money while protecting what is essential.


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