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Weekly Reads: Ads and Privacy Edition


From our stack of virtual clippings, here’s Spot-on’s look back, look ahead and a bit of an update on the issue of online privacy and ad tracking from the past few weeks.

First up, Kate Kaye over a ClickZ has a run-down on 2010 Election trends. Campaigns spent more money online but they still didn’t spend enough say Patrick, Andrew, Josh and all the others (we’ll let you match the blind quotes to the names). There’s also a nifty little display ad art gallery.

That’s in contrast to predictions that have been rolling in pretty steadily since mid-November. Analysts and ad houses are predicting more movement to online. And least two firms think online now rivals newspapers or will soon surpass it in spending by brand advertisers. And, yes, we do have to ask. If it’s good enough for Tiffany, Toyota and Toshiba, how come it’s not good enough for politics? Over at Engaged, they’re asking the same question using well-respected Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker’s data.

We’ve written a lot about online privacy and all the debates about what advertisers can and should do. In Washington, they’re starting to hold hearings. This is the “educational” section of the Congressional debate where balloons are floated and popped. This month’s offering is “do not track” listings (a little like “do not call)” and the White House has formed a committee, too. Always nice to see a crowd – which is gonna grow. The result: Campaigns should be sure and find out if vendors will co-operate with this proposed opt-out.

Along those same lines, we’d like to call your attention to a trend we’ve noticed with some news outlets: The need for privacy statements on candidates’ and campaigns’ destination websites. In other words, if you’re with a site set up to capture email and donations, you may be asked by an online publisher to include a privacy statement on that site before you ads can run. This isn’t a big issue – not yet – but Spot-on’s had more than one outlet call the need for such statements to our clients’ attention. Expect this to hang around as long as government agencies continue to put pressure on advertisers and publishers.

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Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 4:28 PM | Permalink

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