Personalised ads - loved or loathed?

Woman looking at laptop

Nearly half of parents agree that personalised marketing is the future – but they want to understand more and have more control

To mark our annual Mumstock event, we ran a survey to find out your views on online advertising. According to the Mumsnetters we surveyed, parents regard their data as private, with only a quarter liking the idea of personalised ads. They want to have more understanding of what’s being done, and more control over which pieces of data are stored. And they’re much more comfortable with ads based on their search history than they are with ads based on their other online behaviours.

The survey, which we ran with Saatchi & Saatchi London paints a clear picture of how targeted advertising can work – and what doesn’t.

  • 46% agree that personalisation is the future, and that it makes sense that advertisers feel the same way.
  • 58% say that their data is private, with only a quarter (26%) of the parents surveyed liking the idea of personalised ads.
  • More than a third (35%) are open to seeing ads that apply to their lives, and a quarter (24%) say that personalised ads would make them more likely to buy.
It’s in nobody’s interests to show people ads they don’t want to see, or that make them scrabble for the ‘close tab’ button.

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said:

“It’s in nobody’s interests to show people ads they don’t want to see, or that make them scrabble for the ‘close tab’ button. If personalised advertising isn’t done sensitively, the risk is that users will opt for the nuclear ad-blocker option. Transparency is absolutely key: web users need to be consulted, to feel informed, and to be offered tools that allow them to easily opt out.”

Richard Huntington, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi London said:

“This research supports my long held view that digital advertising is in dire need of an overhaul. We can't continue to indiscriminately target people with advertising against their will, using data they consider their own or with methods regarded as little better than spying. There is however still a powerful role for online advertising to be genuinely useful to people and the brands they love when used sensitively and with humanity and care."

See the full results of the survey.