Hey, this is really delightful, I feel discovered. I am eating lunch and I see an ad for some utterly cute green sandals in satin…and they are standing on…frozen vegetables in cheese sauce! I am not kidding, this is a real ad. Under 100 calories!? Green Giant—you got me. And, the ad has the blue Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) Advertising Options icon. And it suits me to a “t”. Who could complain? You got me next time I go to the frozen foods aisle!

Well, apparently some Feds think that getting one of these could next trigger some unsavory offer to me that may be offensive, such as an ad that is telling me I must lose weight or I could lose my health insurance. Well, isn’t it up to me to determine if a pair of feet clad in sandals atop low-cal vegetables is offensive and could lead to even more ads designed just for me?  To me—this ad is a cute but weird approach to targeting me—I seem to be, judging from the recent OBA ads, someone who likes velvet couches and fancy lighting, clothes made out of fake fur, and lots of snazzy sandals and dressy sneakers—but not everything really does hit the mark.

In case you do need control—these online behavioral ads are something you can opt out of. You can go to www.aboutads.info and make your choices, or as a marketer, you should sign up for this important self-regulatory program through the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and ensure you are taking the proper steps so that your recipient consumers can make their choices.

And, look at your ads—what do they say about you? Or your computer device—which is the real target!

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