As ISPs struggle to find ways forward to bring in advertising revenue, it seems that behavioural advertising using the likes of Phorm will not find many takers after all. This week, Sky and Tiscali signalled that they will not be using Phorm or NebuAd, nor do they plan to adopt behavioural advertising.
This is good news for consumers who have been vocal in the extreme about the use of Phorm, and its impact on privacy etc. BT and Talk Talk appear to be going ahead, whilst Orange and Virgin Media seem to be dithering about whether rather than when they might start to implement it.
In a world where the battle for consumers, particularly in harsh economic times, is playing on people’s minds and business plans, the negative PR surrounding the likes of Phorm may see it influencing consumer decisions. If this then results in customer churn (after all, it is substantially easier to change ISPs these days since the MAC code revisions introduced by Ofcom this summer), ISPs are unlikely to rush in to introduce potentially unpopular new technologies such as this.
It does mean however that there is still a space for an ethical, opt-in advertising system to be introduced that is not entirely driven by the need to find profits, but actually attempts to deliver relevant ads to users actively seeking help in finding the products and services they require. Bit like the search engines are trying to do really!