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RE: AM: email marketing; opt-in or out?

Subject:     RE: AM: email marketing; opt-in or out?
From:     Ross Stapleton-Gray <>
Date:     Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:56:11 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 12 Jan 1998 wrote:

> There are a few companies that are already working on similar models
> that could serve as examples for Andrew Forbes.  Imgis (the ad serving
> co.) has hooked up with Metromail (the major database marketing co.) and
> few ISP's, such as GTE.  In this way, as a surfer clicks on a site the
> idea is to match his/her profile (which the ISP knows) with a Metromail
> database and figure out the person's detailed demographics, for Imgis to
> serve a targeted ad.  Andrew can find specific pricing info from Imgis.

I'm skeptical that many ISPs are passing customer identity... too much
mucking around with various protocols, and a bother if you're trying to do
any system caching.

> However, two points to keep in mind are as follows: 1) With all the ad
> targeting possibilities proposed, most advertisers are primarily placing
> their banners based on site content (versus individual targeting).  And,
> more importantly, 2) consumer privacy is of utmost importance to Web
> users, and will be an even bigger issue down the road.

I'll also play a bit of the skeptic on the claim that consumer privacy is
of "utmost" importance as well (disclaimer: I'll be one of the organizers
for the Computers, Freedom & Privacy conference when it's held here in DC
in early 1999).  I would guess that many Web users would rank "being left
alone" (e.g., from spam) ahead of their being targeted with specific and
appropriate ads, and clearly 10M+ consumers are willing to place their
trust in AOL, which makes a great deal of knowing what its folks are up
to (though they have pulled up short of executing some of their more
obnoxious proposals, such as providing customer data to their
telemarketing "partners").

Ross Stapleton-Gray                     TeleDiplomacy, Inc.                    2503 Columbia Pike, Suite 118
Director, Electronic Embassy Program    Arlington VA 22204                  +1 703 685-5197 / 5257 fax

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