Personalized or Invasion of Privacy?

Mia Bruce

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Many companies offer personalized ads to appeal more to the interests of their consumers. Personalized ads are based on consumers’ preferences and behaviors that are released with permission from the consumer. This information can be pulled from shared information on consumers’ social media platforms, basic demographics shared from their account profiles, and tracked digital behavior. Is receiving personalized ads worth the exposed privacy that is required for them?

Stronger CBRs Influence Consumers

          Just like strong friendships between people, strong brand relationships can influence consumers based on the trust that has been built between the two. The closer you are to your friends, the more comfortable you feel around them and the more personal information you will share with them. With brands that you develop relationships with, this is the same concept. The closer you feel to the brand, the more information you feel like you can share because you feel like there is a relationship established. Brands thrive off this concept to acquire personal information that can be used for personalized ads and to gain the demographics of their consumers.

When brands have a strong Consumer-Brand Relationship (CBR), consumers are more likely to release their information to the brand compared to a brand they have a weaker relationship with. Brands have better relationships with their market when consumers find they are trustworthy and worthwhile. This customer loyalty can be established by putting forth products that live up to their standards and maintain their company values. Advertising a product that meets certain criteria, but doesn’t, will have consumers opting to find another brand that will.

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Consumer Interaction with Personalized Ads

          Consumers do not always think highly of personalized ads, unfortunately. More than half of consumers have negative connotations with personalized ads for privacy reasons (Hayes, 2021). When ads are seen as hyper-personalized, consumers tend to break away from the brand. This can make the consumers feel like the brand is overstepping its boundaries and encourage consumers to avoid these brands. Consumers have even gone to the point to use services that will block companies from being able to access their information and block ads to protect their privacy.

By allowing brands to have access to their personal information, consumers can benefit from personalized ads. Having personalized ads makes it easier for consumers to find the products they are looking for. Based on their previous history and typical interests from their information, brands can suggest products that they will probably be interested in. Consumers find this very helpful when they’re trying to search for a product promptly. Websites receive more interaction and positive associations when consumers are shown personalized ads.  

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Results of Personalized Ads

          There are both positives and negatives that come with personalized ads. Strong consumer-brand relationships work well to encourage consumers through personalized advertising. This promotes a positive ad experience and can help consumers find the right products and the right time. This is great for brands because it allows them to have a closer connection to their consumers. Brands can target their audiences properly because of the released personal information that they have to go off. The main point of advertising is to appeal to your targeted audience and having this information to use makes that so much simpler for brands.

          On the other hand, in the eyes of the consumer, personalized ads can be an invasion of privacy that is not necessary. When consumers develop these strong relationships with companies, they may not realize the true extent of what information they are releasing. Consumers may feel so comfortable with a brand that they may not mind or understand what information is being given out.

          Blatantly giving companies your personal information may not seem like a big deal to some, but this information ultimately is being used against consumers for brands to make their sales. Personalized ads can prove to be beneficial for brands and consumers who enjoy having ads that make their lives easier when looking for products. It may be convenient to have advertisements pop up for products that you may be interested in, but does that mean you should relinquish your information to a company that you truly don’t know?

          It’s important to think about both the positives and negatives that come with personalized ads to make an informed decision as a consumer if you will allow companies to your personal information or not. On one hand, you will have a customized approach to online ads, but your details are also given out whether you realize it or not. Weighing both sides is crucial as a consumer, as many people prefer to not give out their information to a company they know through the internet, just to receive more personalized ads for themselves.


Hayes, J. L., Brinson, N. H., Bott, G. J., & Moeller, C. M. (2021). The influence of

consumer-brand relationship on the personalized advertising privacy calculus in Social Media. Journal of Interactive Marketing55, 16–30.