Ann Winter
Ann Winter

Member Article

Who’s afraid of the cookie monster?

As a successful online banner advertising producer, Kino Creative have commissioned a series of articles on the future of display advertising, summarised here for Bdaily by Ann Winter.

Who’s afraid of the cookie monster? Flash banner advertising Vs dynamically generated ads in the mind of the consumer

With the EU Cookie Directives apparently unenforceable and SOPA stalled, the ethics of online marketing are firmly in the media spotlight. (For an insight into cookies or the impact of the new legislation, read our posts on the EU Cookie Directives).

Why the scandal?

The so-called EU Cookie Directives cover all electronic data storage. It’s the invasion of privacy story, twinned with the image of an overbearing EU – in other words, the British cultural nemesis, and straw into gold for the mainstream media.

Class Action

In the US, public action has wrung apologies from Google and others involved in “a veritable arms race of personal data collection that is intensifying” (Reuters Feb ’ 12) Not even Fortress Apple can protect its iSerfs - as recent lawsuits filed against Google for circumventing privacy settings on Apple Inc’s browser Safari can testify.

The long game…

The EU directives appear to be unenforceable, but the ICO’s relaxed attitude may boil down to public awareness raising, and public education. Most people know less about the internet than they do about their cars, and next to nothing about cookies, so it’s easy to scare and manipulate them for the sake of a good story. But it’s not easy to educate them.

As Jim Harper @Cato argues, “most people prefer the interactivity and convenience of today’s web, and the free content made more abundant by ad network tracking” which is enabled by cookies. He goes on: “government efforts to provide online privacy will almost certainly make a hash of things […] a better alternative is to get people educated and involved in their own privacy protection.”

How about kicking things off with a juicy media storm, feeding in the very simple steps people can take to block cookies on their browsers and “opt out” of cookies altogether? Here’s Google’s [opt out](https://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/? sig=ACi0TCjB4D0GM-CnO5eW4aoRnDTH69m76qkDP5LKLYY7rvLNjWA4_3kZ4- dHRhIjOvyhvO2UT-eOwF-SwtZMLb922JsPZC524femagB7xjpGg3fgqiZZhyQnn- qzF1e_YJytqVDbbcnOcfBKIi5IxihNXdK4LLwslV7P22u1IbL_9Z13xoc4e2HdXSMOt7 U-iA96p8k6XbR33G2hqc- qp4MU2UsKspW0DTZQb0Rfshb3F_vNLLTvZ6egaWOs0zyMC7uX2xMMPPdZ&hl=e n):.

Flash banner advertising 1, dynamically generated ads 0
Even if the storm passes quickly, personalised retargeting and dynamically generated ads will be blocked on many devices. Internet browsers will slow beyond recognition for those who decide to opt out.

Banner advertising campaigns however will not lose exposure. Flash banner ads won’t be blocked, so they’ll probably suffer less than the sites that host them. Banner advertising is easily adaptable to non-dynamic environments, so it will ride this storm and sail on by.

What next?

Read our series on the EU Cookie Directives. Read tomorrow’s post comparing market reach for Flash banner advertising and dynamically generated ads

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ann Winter .

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