Invasive Advertising – is it Just Too Much?

I recently visited a website to view some creative samples – part of my normal market research ritual.  What ensued following rather disturbed me.

By now, you have pretty much experienced behavioral targeting – you go to a website to check something out and suddenly find ads for that particular website’s product or service “following” you around the Internet by appearing on other sites you visit.

Behavioral targeting has a creepy edge to it, but it’s mostly harmless. It doesn’t really disrupt your Internet experience, and unless you click to find out more, a few ads are the worst things you have to put up with.

This experience, however, was much more invasive and borderline stalker behavior. You see, I visited the site, viewed some samples, and did nothing more. I suddenly started receiving emails and phone calls thanking me for visiting the site and asking how he could be of further service.

What?

I can see if I had filled out a contact form or voluntarily signed up for updates or a newsletter. I can see if I had offered my personal information in exchange for a free report. But I did none of these things.

Am I the only one that finds this a little bit over the edge?

I know at least Firefox now lets you opt out of tracking, which I will be employing immediately. I’m not sure if this is the new trend for online activity tracking or a unique marketing tactic that companies pay top dollar for. What I do know is that Gen Y won’t stand for such invasive attempts to win their business.

What do you think? Would you be bothered by a company that contacted you incessantly from a single website visit?


Marketing