Jan 192011
 January 19, 2011  Posted by  Business, Online

Karlene Lukovitz reports:

A new controversy about behavorial data-driven ads for McDonald’s, Staples, Macy’s and other brands now showing up in online bank statements is less-than-ideal timing for the advertising industry, to put it mildly.

The new channel — a moneymaker for banks that’s reportedly working extremely well for participating marketers — generates ads, most often associated with discount and coupon offers, that appear in online debit card activity statements. The ads are based on a user’s debit card transactions, and don’t necessarily come from a company from which the consumer has purchased. For example, debit-card charges at one fast-food chain might trigger an ad from a competitor.

The article points out how lucrative this approach is, but then notes the privacy concerns:

The system suppliers have stressed that customers’ personal data is not shared with marketers, and that customers can opt out of having the ads appear in their statements.

However, consumer privacy protection groups contend that most consumers don’t notice, understand or take advantage of opt-outs.

Furthermore, while many consumers are clearly taking advantage of the offers, a growing number of articles in well-read news outlets bearing headlines like “Advertisers Monitoring Your Debit Cards?” are also generating negative viral attention for both banks and participating marketers.

Read more in MediaPost.

This was a topic discussed in yesterday’s online #PrivChat. So the banks aren’t sharing data with marketers? Okay, but tell us more about how this works and what tracking is associated with it beyond session cookies. And if the ads are keyword based such that McDonald’s might trigger an ad for Burger King, who/what determines whether the ad served will be fore McDonald’s or Burger King if both companies participate in the marketing? I’m confused.

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