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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Andreas Kuehn

This article compares the use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology to the use of cookies for online behavioral advertising (OBA), in the form of two competing

Abstract

Purpose

This article compares the use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology to the use of cookies for online behavioral advertising (OBA), in the form of two competing paradigms. It seeks to explain why DPI was eliminated as a viable option due to political and regulatory reactions whereas cookies technology was not, even though it raises some of the same privacy issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paradigms draw from two-sided market theory to conceptualize OBA. Empirical case studies, NebuAd's DPI platform and Facebook's Beacon program, substantiate the paradigms with insights into the controversies on behavioral tracking between 2006 and 2009 in the USA. The case studies are based on document analyses and interviews.

Findings

Comparing the two cases from a technological, economic, and institutional perspective, the article argues that both paradigms were equally privacy intrusive. Thus, it rejects the generally held view that privacy issues can explain the outcome of the battle. Politics and regulatory legacy tilted the playing field towards the cookies paradigm, impeding a competing technology.

Originality/value

Shifting the narrative away from privacy to competing tracking paradigms and their specific actors sheds light on the political and the regulatory rationales that were not considered in previous research on OBA. Particularly, setting forth institutional aspects on OBA – and DPI in general – the case studies provide much needed empirical analysis to reassess tracking technologies and policy outcomes.

Details

info, vol. 15 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Rachel L. Finn and Kush Wadhwa

This paper aims to study the ethics of “smart” advertising and regulatory initiatives in the consumer intelligence industry. Increasingly, online behavioural advertising

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the ethics of “smart” advertising and regulatory initiatives in the consumer intelligence industry. Increasingly, online behavioural advertising strategies, especially in the mobile media environment, are being integrated with other existing and emerging technologies to create new techniques based on “smart” surveillance practices. These “smart” surveillance practices have ethical impacts including identifiability, inequality, a chilling effect, the objectification, exploitation and manipulation of consumers as well as information asymmetries. This article examines three regulatory initiatives – privacy-by-design considerations, the proposed General Data Protection Regulation of the EU and the US Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013 – that have sought to address the privacy and data protection issues associated with these practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors performed a critical literature review of academic, grey and journalistic publications surrounding behavioural advertising to identify the capabilities of existing and emerging advertising practices and their potential ethical impacts. This information was used to explore how well-proposed regulatory mechanisms might address current and emerging ethical and privacy issues in the emerging mobile media environment.

Findings

The article concludes that all three regulatory initiatives fall short of providing adequate consumer and citizen protection in relation to online behavioural advertising as well as “smart” advertising.

Originality/value

The article demonstrates that existing and proposed regulatory initiatives need to be amended to provide adequate citizen protection and describes how a focus on privacy and data protection does not address all of the ethical issues raised.

Details

info, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2010

Ying Wang and Shaojing Sun

The purpose of this paper is to investigate online advertising across different cultures such as Romania and the USA. In the meantime, this paper attempts to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate online advertising across different cultures such as Romania and the USA. In the meantime, this paper attempts to examine the relationships among beliefs about online advertising, attitudes toward online advertising (ATOA), and consumer responses to online advertising.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys are conducted among 577 internet users from both Romania and the USA structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among variables.

Findings

Belief factors (i.e. information seeking, entertainment, economy, credibility, and value corruption) are statistically significant predictors of ATOA; ATOA is a significant predictor of consumer responses to online advertising; as compared to Americans, Romanians tended to hold a more positive ATOA and are more likely to click advertisements, whereas Americans are more likely to buy online than do Romanians.

Research limitations/implications

Convenient sampling technique and the operationalization of culture are main limitations associated with the paper.

Practical implications

Findings may help businesses and organizations employ online advertising more effectively and efficiently in their global marketing endeavors.

Originality/value

Currently little is known about online advertising in developing countries, particularly eastern European countries such as Romania. The current paper extends research on ATOA to a cross‐cultural context.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

Debashis ‘Deb’ Aikat

Interactive media strategies and digital tools have enabled advertisers to target children with promotional offers and creative appeals.

Abstract

Purpose

Interactive media strategies and digital tools have enabled advertisers to target children with promotional offers and creative appeals.

Design

Based on theories related to metaphors in advertisements, cognitive comprehension by children, promotional appeals, and presentation techniques, the research for this study comprised a content analysis of 1,980 online banner advertisements with reference to use of metaphors, promotional appeals, creative content, and selling techniques.

Findings

The research study concludes that online advertising to children, in contrast to traditional advertising vehicles, is characterized by (a) a vibrant visual metaphor, (b) surfeit of animated content, (c) interactive features, (d) myriad product types, and (e) creative content for a mixed audience of adults and children.

Originality

This study argues that the impact and content of the Internet as a new advertising medium are distinctly different from traditional characteristics of television and print.

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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2012

N. van Eijk, N. Helberger, L. Kool, A. van der Plas and B. van der Sloot

The paper aims to report the main findings of a study for the Dutch Regulatory Authority for the Telecommunications sector OPTA to explore how the new European “cookie

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to report the main findings of a study for the Dutch Regulatory Authority for the Telecommunications sector OPTA to explore how the new European “cookie rules” in the ePrivacy Directive impact on behavioral advertising practices via the storing and reading of cookies. The paper identifies the main dilemmas with the implementation of the new European rules. The Dutch case provides a valuable reality check also outside The Netherlands. Even before the amendment of the directive, The Netherlands already had an opt‐in system in place. From the Dutch experience important lessons can be learned also for other European countries.

Design/methodology/approach

After a brief analysis of the legal situation in Europe and in The Netherlands (section 2), section 3 reports about the findings of a survey among the main providers of targeted advertising in The Netherlands to explore the current use of cookies and targeted advertising practices. Section 4 describes the findings of a qualitative survey among Dutch internet users with the goal to define their level of skills and knowledge, acceptance of and behavior towards the placing and reading of cookies. A concluding section (section 5) summarizes the main findings and identifies implications for the future policy debate.

Findings

The results show that the majority of the surveyed parties involved in behavioral advertising do not inform users about the storing of cookies or the purposes of data processing of the subsequently obtained data, neither have they obtained users' consent for the storage of cookies. The authors also found that the majority of users lack the skills and knowledge to handle cookies.

Social implications

The findings critically question the wisdom of the “informed consent regime” that currently lies at the heart of Europe's ePrivacy Directive. The paper concludes with reflections about the concrete policy implications of the study, and a number of concrete suggestions of how to approach the future debate with regard to the regulation of online tracking and cookies.

Originality/value

The approach of the paper is original in that it combines legal analysis with two surveys: one among behavioral advertisers and one among online users. This approach permits us to better understand the efficacy of the new legal rules, to make predictions regarding the level of compliance with the new rules and identify areas in this highly topical debate that require further attention.

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Ali Bassam Mahmoud, Nicholas Grigoriou, Leonora Fuxman, Dieu Hack-Polay, Fatina Bassam Mahmoud, Eiad Yafi and Shehnaz Tehseen

This study aims to assess consumers’ beliefs in three Middle Eastern Arab countries regarding attitudinal and behavioural responses towards permission-based direct email…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess consumers’ beliefs in three Middle Eastern Arab countries regarding attitudinal and behavioural responses towards permission-based direct email marketing (hereafter DEM) and the moderating role of gender in the hypothesised path model.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypothesised path model by using data collected from 829 respondents.

Findings

The findings show that attitude was found to fully mediate the relationship between beliefs and behavioural responses towards permission-based DEM. Gender moderates the relationship between beliefs and attitudes and responses to permission-based DEM. Notably, female respondents were found to react more actively when exposed to permission-based DEM.

Research limitations/implications

Further qualitative research is needed to learn more about how and why individuals develop behavioural intentions in certain ways towards opt-in DEM. In addition, neuropsychology approaches such as eye-tracking are endorsed for future research to gain more insights and conquer biases associated with self-reporting procedures in countries where such technologies are deemed as legal and ethical to be used with human subjects.

Practical implications

Advertisers promoting products and services in the Middle Eastern Arab context should take further steps to enhance the quality of information (including cultural sensitiveness) and the perceived entertainment value that could be delivered to consumers through permission-based DEM, especially for female internet users. Additionally, this study highly recommends the double opt-in approach to permission-based DEM.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to address the gender role as a moderator of the path depicting the effectiveness of permission-based DEM approach in the Middle East (Arab counties) from beliefs to behavioural responses via attitudes.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Kristien Daems, Freya De Keyzer, Patrick De Pelsmacker and Ingrid Moons

The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of personalization of advertising and adding an advertising cue to advertisements on Facebook, on 9-to-13-year-old…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of personalization of advertising and adding an advertising cue to advertisements on Facebook, on 9-to-13-year-old children’s awareness of selling intent, attitude towards the advertisement (Aad) and word-of-mouth (WOM) intention.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 (personalized ad vs non-personalized ad) × 2 (advertising cue vs no advertising cue) between-subjects design was tested among 167 Belgian children aged 9-13 by means of an in-class online experiment.

Findings

Personalization combined with an advertising cue increases the awareness of selling intent but influences neither Aad nor WOM intention. Awareness of selling intent does not affect WOM intention. Personalization does not increase Aad. Aad has a positive effect on WOM intention.

Research limitations/implications

Implementing a clear advertising cue enhances children’s awareness of selling intent of personalized advertising but does not affect behavioral intention. Public policy, the advertising community and the educational system should take these insights into account when developing regulations, ethical advertisements and educational packages to improve children’s understanding and responses to contemporary advertising formats.

Originality/value

The study is the first one to investigate the joint effect of advertising personalization and an advertising cue on awareness of selling intent and on evaluative and behavioral responses of children. Additionally, the role of Aad and awareness of selling intent for the development of WOM intention is explored.

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Vanessa Ratten

This paper aims to cross-culturally compare how consumers in China and Australia adopt cloud computing services. Cloud computing is one of the major innovation advances in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to cross-culturally compare how consumers in China and Australia adopt cloud computing services. Cloud computing is one of the major innovation advances in information technology. In order for more consumers to adopt cloud computing as a technological innovation, there needs to be a better understanding of the issues involved in consumer adoption processes for online retailers. While there is an increasing amount of interest in cloud computing as a technological innovation, there is an important need to examine the reasons why consumers purchase cloud computing services for online retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the technology acceptance model and social cognitive theory are identified as the theoretical frameworks to understand the consumer purchase intention of cloud computing services. A set of research hypotheses are stated from both theoretical frameworks to test their relationship with a consumer’s intention to adopt cloud computing as a technological innovation. These hypotheses focus on perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, online behavioural advertising knowledge, social networks and online privacy concerns, which will help online retailers understand how cloud computing can be utilized by consumers to store and access online retail information.

Findings

The findings of the study outline the different areas of technological innovation research that are needed to advance the information technology industry in the future. The findings suggest that perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and online privacy concerns can determine a consumer’s intention to adopt cloud computing, but online behavioural advertising knowledge and social networks differ among consumers in different countries.

Originality/value

The key issues influencing consumer adoption of cloud computing are outlined, which due to the emerging nature of this technological innovation will influence the regulation and marketing of cloud computing services by firms and governments in the technology sector.

Details

Journal of Science & Technology Policy Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4620

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Joanna Strycharz, Guda van Noort, Natali Helberger and Edith Smit

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into personalisation from a practitioner’s perspective to bridge the practitioner-academia gap and steer the research…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into personalisation from a practitioner’s perspective to bridge the practitioner-academia gap and steer the research agenda. A wide scope of research has investigated personalisation from a consumer perspective. The current study aims at bridging the consumer and practitioner perspective by entering into a dialogue about the practical application of personalisation. It takes the personalisation process model by Vesanen and Raulas (2006) as the starting point.

Design/methodology/approach

Lead by the exploratory character of the study, semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with marketers, market researchers and online privacy specialists.

Findings

The results showcase how practitioners view the issues present in consumer research. First, they are overly positive about personalisation. Second, they are aware of constraining factors; findings showcase best practices to mitigate them. Finally, practitioners are aware of controversies surrounding personalisation and thus engage in ethical discussions on personalisation.

Research limitations/implications

This study shows that practitioners have somewhat different believes about the utility and appreciation of personalised marketing practices than consumers. It also shows awareness of some of the key concerns of consumers, and that such awareness translates into organisational and technological solutions that can even go beyond what is currently mandated by law. Six insights into personalised marketing as well as expectations for the future of the phenomenon are discussed to steer the research agenda.

Practical implications

Insights into the practice of personalisation contribute to a shared understanding of this phenomenon between involved actors, such as marketers, advertisers, and consumer representatives. In addition, implications for lawmakers are discussed, suggesting that the implementation of privacy laws needs more clarity and that actions aiming at improving consumer knowledge are needed.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature first, by drafting a descriptive map of personalisation from a practitioners’ perspective and contrasting it with the perspective stemming from consumer research and, second, by offering insights into the current developments and direct implications for practice and future research.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Ana Alina Tudoran

The number of internet consumers who adopt ad-blocking is increasing rapidly all over the world. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate this phenomenon by: assembling…

Abstract

Purpose

The number of internet consumers who adopt ad-blocking is increasing rapidly all over the world. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate this phenomenon by: assembling the existing considerations and key theoretical aspects of the determinants of online ad-blocking; and by exploring the consumers’ beliefs and sentiments toward online ads and expected outcomes of ad-blocking behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Data consist of 4,093 consumers’ opinions in response to the news items about ad-blocking, published by a leading news and technology website in the period 2010–2016. The unstructured data are analyzed using probabilistic topic modeling and sentiment analysis.

Findings

Five main topics are identified, unveiling the hidden structure of consumers’ beliefs. A sentiment analysis profiling the clustered opinions reveals that the opinions that are focused on the behavioral characteristics of ads express the strongest negative sentiment, while the opinions centered on the possibility to subscribe to an ad-free fee-financed website are characterized on average by a positive sentiment.

Practical implications

The findings provide useful insights for practitioners to create/adopt more acceptable ads that translate into less ad-blocking and improved internet surfing experience. It brings insights on the question of whether ad-free subscription websites have or do not have the potential to become a viable business opportunity.

Originality/value

The research: improves the current understanding of the determinants of ad-blocking by introducing a conceptual framework and testing it empirically; makes use of consumer-generated data on the internet; and implements novel techniques from the data mining literature.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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