Post image for Your Audience Doesn’t Want to Manage the Ads They See

Your Audience Doesn’t Want to Manage the Ads They See

on April 2, 2013

While online advertisers may think they’re being transparent about how they push ads to consumers, the reality is the network of how your emails, search, and browsing behavior is tracked, analyzed, and then served up is a complete mystery to everyone except people who work in advertising and have to track it. Like publicly announcing “I’m not racist,” all these advertisers try to save face with the privacy intrusion online ads have on our lives by offering us the ability to “manage the ads we want to see.”

The three major content and search sites (Google, YouTube, Yahoo!) have tools and instructions for you to manage the ads you want to see. Yahoo! wins by a small margin by making it appear easy to turn on and off the ad tracking. YouTube has some instructions which they purposely make more difficult to read by reducing the line spacing as compared to all the other text on their site. And Google requires you to watch a video and flip through a few pages before you can find any instructions to manage the ads you want to see.

Yahoo! Ad Management Screen

People have a hard enough time managing aspects of their lives they do care about, such as their email, friends, music, and files. The reality is no one wants to see any ads. And if you don’t want to see ads what makes advertisers believe we’d spend our time managing ads we don’t want to see? My eyes glaze over when I get pitched a new advertising tool that lets consumers manage the ads they want to see.

Honestly, has anyone reading this ever spent ten seconds managing the ads they want to see? Why would you? You’re not clicking on them nor caring about them, so why would you want to manage them? Personally, I’ve never consciously clicked on an online ad in my life.

Like a magician who says, “Pick a card,” we know it’s foolish to believe we have some control of the outcome. Advertisers are the ones in control so we don’t bother. But every now and then a volunteer will step up, pick a card or click an ad management option, and think they had something to do with their outcome when in reality nothing has changed. I’m just getting less ads for feminine hygiene products.


Stock photo of online ad button courtesy of Bigstock Photo.

Previous post:

Next post: