Control, Quality, Relevancy Key to Establishing Consumer Trust

As online merchants and marketers search for the shifting line between invasion of privacy and effective targeting to consumers, a new study by the Ponemon Institute, a research institute dedicated to privacy management practices in business and government, has published an analysis of how online marketers can build and capitalize on trust through their communication with consumers. The Online Permissions Survey, sponsored by Dotomi, is based on 1,799 responses from Internet users in all major regions of the United States.

The Internet has quickly developed into a ubiquitous presence in commerce, and the public's perception of online marketing and merchants continues to evolve. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with buying online, but remain wary of sharing vital information such as credit card numbers with merchants they don't trust. Building and retaining trust with consumers is therefore critical for online merchants to succeed, and the survey found that trust is significantly correlated to improving the relevance of communication with consumers:

  • 84 percent of consumers stated that they want control over the types and frequency of Internet ads sent from a specific merchant.
  • 64 percent of consumers would trust a marketer more if they had control over the types of online communication that were sent to them.
  • 89 percent of consumers would let a trusted marketer share their personal interests with a third party without permission, in order to increase the quality of services and products produced.
  • Merchants using adware or spyware to advertise online should take note, however, that only 20 percent (the lowest response) would let the marketer share information to track their buying behavior to influence future purchasing decisions.
  • 56 percent of consumers feel that the online merchant respects them when it demonstrates understanding of their interests and is better able to market to them.
  • 82 percent of consumers responded to wanting to be notified by an online merchant if they are provided with an incentive (i.e. discount or free offer), and 92 percent asked to be notified if a product or promotion would be of great value to them based on past purchasing habits.
This, of course, points to Dotomi's business model which is opt-in, on page banner ad messaging. Dotomi works to bring publishers, advertisers and consumers together for a permission-based relationship that adds value to publisher's advertising programs, advertiser's targeting efforts and consumer's move towards control over media consumption.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Four Letter Word Clients Rankle Agency Types

Writing in MediaPost, Seana Mulcahy shares her client behavior horror stories which we all, on the agency side, at one time or another, have experienced. There's plenty of horror stories about agency personnel from clients but Seana's from the agency side so, today, if you work in an agency, gleefully identify with her commentary. If you work on the client side, gleefully poke holes in her every complaint and offer up your own reason why it's really always the agency's fault and not yours. Have fun.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Ford Opens Hollywood Office, Expect More Fords in Movies

In what is believed to be a first, a Detroit automaker has opened an office in Hollywood for the express purpose of pressing the flesh to get more of its cars into films. Ford is the company and Al Uzielli is the man who will sit in that office. Uzielli is the cousin of Ford CEO Bill Ford and great-grandson of Henry Ford. Uzielli, 38, has been an independent film producer for 15 years producing such gems as Bongwater.

As head consultant to Ford Global Brand Entertainment Uzielli will use his Hollywood connections to get more Ford vehicles into movies and television.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Farkers Fool With Famous Brands

For a bit of truth and humor in advertising, check out these "tweaked" ad banners from members of online community Fark as they demonstrate their artistic abilities and quick wit.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

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Olsen Sisters Launch Line of Perfume

Moving on from their fame as popular objects of desire for perverted, Olsen Eighteen Year Old Birthday Countdown watchers and, in the case of Mary-Kate, poster child for starved, third world countries, the Olsen sisters have launched two perfumes. Called Coast to Coast NY and Coast to Coast LA, the perfumes will be scented citrus and tropical respectively. The brands will hit stores in March.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Retailer Gets Pussy

U.K. Retailer Marks & Spencer is getting 77 year old "pussy." Honor "Pussy Galore" Blackman, that is. Blackman is famous for appearing in the James Bond movie Goldfinger and has been tapped by the retailer to become its spokeswoman in a new ad campaign. Blackman will model the company's Classic Collection fashion line.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Kraft Sponsors White Supremacist Website By Mistake

Kraft Foods was a bit surprised when they found themselves advertising on late last year. Kraft had used Google's AdWords contextual advertising program which matches page content to keywords the advertisers select. Google offers a free search engine to website publishers which, when results are returned, AdWords advertising appears above or next to the search results. used this Google feature and when Milford, Connecticut freelance reporter Tom Giordano entered the search term "Halloween" on, Kraft's text ads appeared near the results. Giordano was researching a story on the group who had distributed fliers locally.

Google, of course, forbids sites that contain pornographic, hate-related or violent content from using its search tool but the search code is freely available to all who wish to use it even if they do not conform to Google's requirements. Upon discovery, Google has disallowed whiterevolution from using its tools.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Verizon Wireless to Open Phone Content Floodgates

Paving the way for more content, Verizon Wireless is dramatically expanding its high-bandwidth Vcast service which allows for delivery of music videos, television shows, newscasts, and, we're sure, the birth of the "phone-porn" industry. The service, already available in San Diego and Washington, D.C., will expand to 60 cities by year's end.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Ad Exec Inserts Foot In Mouth

For the reason many large ad agencies will drop off the face of the planet suddenly, leaving them homeless on Madison Avenue, looking upward, longingly, saying, "Huh? What just happened?", rather than successfully morph into agencies that have a clue and are open to the future, we need look no further than a recent AdWeek poll that asked, "What advertising trend would you like to see die in 2005?" Taking the homeless agency exec prize is this nugget of intelligence from Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Mary Baglivo who said, "The trend I would love to see die is the frantic production of non-traditional, non-TV marketing ideas. In the quest to be smart, effective and media-agnostic, many marketers have become manic." No witty comment needed on this one.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05