Behavioral Advertising Gets an Opt-Out icon

Some of the internet’s biggest players have agreed to take part in a new self-regulatory program that provides transparency for behavioral advertising. The program was put together with the aid of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in conjunction with the July 2009 paper Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.

The program revolves around the “Advertising Option Icon,” which will be displayed on or near any online ad that is the result of behavioral targeting. When clicking, the icon will link out to a disclosure statement that outlines the data collection and advertising practices used to produce the ad and it will give the consumer an “easy-to-use opt-out option.”

Forty Percent of Groupon Merchants Say Never Again

Last month, we reported on a story of a Portland Cafe owner who claims she lost thousands of dollars doing business with popular deal site Groupon. Some people sided with her, others said she mishandled the situation and Groupon said her story wasn’t typical. But is it?

The folks at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University wanted to find out, so they did a small study to see if merchants were generally happy with their Groupon experience. The study, which was reported on by The Wall Street Journal and other sources polled 150 merchants who had placed deals with Groupon.

Movie Marketing: Its Own Worst Enemy

With Facebook the Movie: aka The Social Network hitting theaters this weekend it got me thinking about social media and movie marketing. I am not alone in this, as a quick Google search turned up a recent AdAge article that pretty much said what I was thinking, “Why Do Most Movie Websites Suck?”

I’m a huge movie lover, but I’ve hardly ever met an official website I didn’t hate. I always assumed it was because they’re generally full of flash and graphics with very little text. I’m a writer, I like reading. Chris Thilk, the author of the AdAge article agreed with me and he took it one step further. It’s not just that official websites are bad, it’s that the Facebook pages are better.

Capturing [the Attention of] the Elusive Millennial

Tips for Reaching & Engaging the Elusive Millennial may sound like an Animal Planet special, but it’s actually a very informative webinar from Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer. Millennials are those that came of age in the 2000′s, but for the purpose of the study, they’re defined as the 18 – 34 year-old group.

The biggest factor that differentiates this group from those that went before it, is that these people were born techies. They came into adulthood with cell phones in hand, laptops in their backpacks and an almost innate disdain for print mediums. They are 72 million strong and they have 200 billion dollars to spend. This is an audience you want to please and eMarketer’s presentation has some tips in that regard.

Courts Disagree on Expectation of Privacy Regarding Social Media

If you want to know anything about privacy laws, Kashmir Hill from Forbes is your gal. She writes a whole column on it and earlier this week she wrote an interesting piece about two Facebook privacy cases with two very different results.

Both cases involved a person with a Facebook account who was suing a company for something totally unrelated to social media. In California, an artist sued an apparel company for putting his designs on items they hadn’t agreed on, like maybe condoms. Lawyers for the company asked for access to all of the artist’s Facebook and MySpace updates, obviously hoping to catch him saying he was thrilled about being featured on a condom, or something like that.

ShopLocal Adds Wish List Component

Have you made your holiday gift list yet? Not the list of things you need to buy for others, the list of things you want other people to buy for you. ShopLocal is making it easier with a new gizmo they’re adding that connects their Smart Circulars to Facebook, natch.

I couldn’t find a picture of the “Gift Me This” widget in action, but it’s likely just a rebranded version of the graphic you see right here. When a consumer flips through the online version of a ShopLocal circular, they have the ability to choose items and send them to Facebook. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to spread the word about a bonus offer on a DVD from Best Buy or a cool deal on recyclable paper at Staples.

New Report Says Social Media Creators Have Stopped Creating

When it comes to social media usage, Forrester categorizes the world using their patented Social Technographic Ladder. Creators (23%) are at the top. These are the people who create blogs, upload videos and write articles for the web. (I’m one of those. Are you?)

Right under that are Conversationalists and Critics who exchange info by Twitter, forums and Facebook posts. The majority of social media user fall into the middle of the pack and they are Joiners and Spectators. The difference being that Joiners have social media profiles but they’re not overtly active.

For the last few years, Forrester has tracked growth in all areas but this year Creators hit a plateau. According to their 2010 Global Social Technographics report, despite advances that make it easier, creators aren’t creating like they used to.