Authors Dirk Auer

7 days 30 days All time Recent Popular
This response to my tweet is a common objection to targeted advertising.

@KevinCoates correct me if I'm wrong, but basic point seems to be that banning targeted ads will lower platform profits, but will mostly be beneficial for consumers.

Some counterpoints 👇

1) This assumes that consumers prefer contextual ads to targeted ones.

This does not seem self-evident to me

Research also finds that firms choose between ad. targeting vs. obtrusiveness 👇

If true, the right question is not whether consumers prefer contextual ads to targeted ones. But whether they prefer *more* contextual ads vs *fewer* targeted

2) True, many inframarginal platforms might simply shift to contextual ads.

But some might already be almost indifferent between direct & indirect monetization.

Hard to imagine that *none* of them will respond to reduced ad revenue with actual fees.

3) Policy debate seems to be moving from:

"Consumers are insufficiently informed to decide how they share their data."


"No one in their right mind would agree to highly targeted ads (e.g., those that mix data from multiple sources)."

IMO the latter statement is incorrect.