November 1, 2007 — On the first day of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) workshop on "Online Behavioral Targeting," the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) indicated that providing relevant marketing materials to consumers online is fueling the unprecedented growth in the Internet.
"The Internet revolution goes on and we are proud that our members continue to be the leaders in providing relevant marketing materials to consumers at the very time they are interested in knowing more about particular products and services,” said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. “The verdict is in — consumers have overwhelmingly responded to an open Internet supported by relevant advertising."
Consumer response to a national survey of more than 1,000 adult consumers, which was conducted during the weekend of October 26-28 on behalf of DMA by ORC International of Princeton, NJ, found the following:
When given a choice about how Web content should be paid for, the vast majority (72 percent) of Web users preferred that websites not charge them, and instead be funded by advertising.
· Further, 86 percent confirmed that they usually visit free websites where the content they use is paid for by advertisers; only 10 percent said that the websites they access either charge them a subscription or pay for each download or use.
· 81 percent stated that the Internet made their lives better by making it easier to gain access to products, services, and content such as news, video, or music.
· When asked about their Internet shopping habits compared with two years ago, the overwhelming majority (86 percent) of Web users confirmed that they were doing the same amount of shopping or more.
· Finally, when all respondents, both online and offline, were asked whether they were aware that Internet companies were collecting information regarding their Web browsing, it was clear that consumers were aware of this practice. In fact, only 30 percent indicated they were not aware of it, and a significant portion of those who were not aware had not yet used the Internet.
In response to calls by certain groups for a “do-not-track” list, DMA Executive Vice President for Government Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Steven K. Berry said, “Such a list would significantly undermine the successful business model of the Internet by limiting benefits to consumers, stifling innovation, and eliminating the valuable and effective marketing supported content. It is overwhelmingly clear that the great majority of Americans embrace relevant marketing. This is a ‘solution in search of a problem.’ ”
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