Consumers Are Aware of Dynamically Targeted Ads – and Their Opinions of Them Are Split

More Than One-Third of Men Wouldn’t Mind Trading Non-Personal Information for Ads More Relevant to Their Interests

BURLINGTON, Mass. – Burst Media, (, a leading seller of targeted Internet audiences to brand and performance advertisers, released the results of a consumer sentiment survey on Internet privacy and dynamic ads – ads tailored for the individual viewer based on a profile or past web surfing behavior. Administered in late November to more than 1,600 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older, the online survey found the majority (78.2%) of respondents recall seeing online ads that appeared to be tailored to them based on a previous visit to the advertiser website. One-third (34.2%) of respondents who recall seeing a dynamic ad say they dislike them while one-quarter (27.7%) say they like them, and 38.1% had no opinion.

Among respondents who dislike dynamic ads, the reason most often cited for their negative feelings is that the ads are “annoying and distracting” (54.9%). Other reasons cited include: ads usually feature a product the user is not interested in (38.2%), ads infringe on privacy (33.4%) and ads follow the user around the web (27.5%). The study also found considerable differences between age segments and perceptions of dynamic ads: one-third (35.2%) of respondents aged 18-34 years “like” dynamic ads compared to one-quarter (25.1%) of respondents aged 35-54 years and 16.7% of respondents 55 or older.

For the most part, dynamic ads have little impact on a consumer’s opinion about the specific company and/or product being advertised. Overall, only 17.4% of respondents say they have a better impression of the company or product as a result of seeing a dynamic ad after a previous visit to the advertiser’s website, and 10.9% have a worse opinion. Interestingly, men are significantly more likely than women (23.2% vs. 11.6%) to have a better impression of a company or product after seeing an ad tailored to them based on a previous visit to the advertiser’s website.

Surprisingly, more than one-quarter (28.4%) of respondents say they would not mind if a website tracked and stored non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) if it meant they would see advertising more relevant to their interests. Nearly one-half (47.9%) of respondents say they object. Men are much more likely than women to approve of a website using non-PII for targeting purposes: 37.3% vs. 19.8%.

“With ubiquitous media coverage and government attention towards Internet privacy and security, consumers are more aware than ever that what they do online may be tracked in one form or another,” said David Stein, Chief Technology Officer at Burst Media. “Online advertisers can respond by ensuring their messages are relevant to their target audience. When a consumer sees an advertising message at the right place, at the right time and in the most relevant context, brands are best positioned to instill trust and action. Equally, web publishers must commit to consumer privacy and make certain a fully-fleshed out privacy policy is current and relevant to the needs of the audience.”

About Burst Media

An online media and technology company founded in 1995, Burst Media ( is a leading seller of vertically targeted audiences found in the long tail of the Internet. By working together with web publishers and advertisers, the company leverages the value of rich long tail content to enable brands to reach loyal, highly segmented audiences in a brand-safe and quality-assured environment. Through its media divisions Burst Network, Burst Direct and Giant Realm, the company represents one of the broadest and deepest offerings of interest-based websites. Burst also markets its ad management platform, adConductor™, which empowers content websites, online ad networks and web portals to manage the complete process of ad sales and service. Burst Media is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices throughout the United States and in London. For more information, visit or call 781.272.5544.