FTC Stands Behind Self-Regulation of Online Ad Industry

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz spoke up for self-regulation of targeted advertising during a presentation at ad:tech New York on Tuesday.

He stated that consumers must be given a choice as to how much of their personal data is tracked, but it’s up to the ad industry, not the government, to make it so.

“We at the FTC have no interest in shutting down the Internet party,” he said. “Our only concern is that, if guests understand there could be a cover charge to the party [in the form of giving up some privacy], they should be able to make meaningful choices about how much they’ll pay.”

This comes just as the Digital Advertising Alliance released an up-dated set of principles regarding online data collection.

Mobile Users Want Incentives Before They Agree to Shop

A recent survey of 1,000 consumers returned a very nice result — 62% said they’d be willing to make a purchase on their mobile device. . . but only if they were incentivized to do so. Coupons, discounts, loyalty points and gift cards were all mentioned, but oddly, so was text alerts. So maybe it’s not so much about saving money, as it is about being given an easy link to click on.

According to the survey, which was conducted by Sybase 365 and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), shows that mobile interest is increasing at a rapid rate. Last year, only 32% of those surveyed said that an incentive would encourage mobile spending.

Retailers Get Creative With Recordable Codes and Snappy Apps

According to IBM, a record number of shoppers will shift their shopping from PC to mobile this holiday season. For stores with a brick and mortar component that means finding a way to tie together traditional retail shopping with a digital twist.

Come On Get Snappy

Old Navy is doing it with their Snap Appy app. Use the app to scan the Old Navy logo as you wander the store and you’ll get rewarded with games, coupons and other surprises. You can also scan special “snap marks” to get more information about that piece of clothing.

Old Navy spokesperson Deborah Yeh says the app is part shopping tool and part entertainment. It’s designed to keep the customer in the store longer as they engage more deeply with the products on the shelves.

Brand Interaction on Twitter is Up By One Third

Twitter is slowly rising in the ranks as a means of communication between consumers and the brands they love. According to a study from Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey, one-third of brand followers said they were interacting more with brands than ever before.

The most surprising fact to come out of this study is that 75% of consumers have never “un-followed” a brand on Twitter. That’s either a testament to relevancy of the brands that use the social service or a side effect of the quick post turnover. I’m going with the second option.

Various studies have put the lifespan of a Tweet at under an hour. Klout recently ran up some numbers that showed a longer life for those with more Klout. Of course, all of this is dependent on retweets. If you don’t have them, your message will fall off the grid within minutes.

Google+ Starts Rollling Out Pages for Business

It’s been a long time coming and now it’s finally here. . . sort of. Google+ is now rolling out pages for businesses and brands but you can’t start building just yet.

Their announcement blog post is all full of warm and fuzzy feelings about how Google+ Pages will allow business to connect with the people who love them on a deeply meaningful level.

Here’s my favorite line:

“Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face.”

Only Google would consider an online comment typed on to a virtual page to be “face-to-face’ contact.

Facebook Installs New Twitter Update Link

You know that old joke about using my MasterCard to pay my Visa? Well, Facebook’s new Twitter link is kind of like that.

Sometime in the last two weeks, Facebook threw the switch to allow a link between Facebook profiles and Twitter. Hook up your accounts and all of your public Facebook posts will automatically push to your Twitter followers as well.

Previously, this option was available only to Pages but now anyone can do it. Simply visit: http://www.facebook.com/twitter/ and walk through the steps.

But before you click that link – think.

Right now, all of my Twitter updates post to my Facebook thanks to an easy check-box in my Twitter profile. If I turn on the Facebook to Twitter link, will it then repost all of my Twitter messages back to Twitter? What a mess that would be.

Google+ Adds YouTube Button

I’m beginning to feel like there are only three destinations on the web, Google, Facebook and YouTube. Now, we won’t be seeing Google+ teaming up with Facebook any time soon (as in “ever”), but Google+ has teamed up with YouTube so it’s even easier to share videos of kids doing cute things.

The YouTube button is located in the top right corner near your Circle profile pics. Click on it and it rolls out like a tongue and asks “What would you like to play?” Type any word, general or specific in the box and it pops-up a list of options with a player at the top.

I chose the word Thanksgiving for the test and here’s what I got. I love that they included Addams Family Thanksgiving and Adam Sandler’s parody tune. Both excellent picks.