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'Do Not Call' Comes To The Internet; Web Marketers Weep
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By Rich Karpinski

It's tough being an interactive marketer these days. And small businesses may be hit the hardest.

Direct telemarketing is dead, thanks to the FCC's "Do Not Call" list. CAN-SPAM rules make it downright dangerous to send marketing emails out; heaven forbid you muck up your opt-out tactic.


A federal "Do Not Follow" list would clean up the breadcrumb trail customers leave across the Internet


And now comes a proposed "Do Not Follow" list, which would allow individuals to forbid Web sites to track where they go online.

All of these initiatives do a good job of adding privacy protections for consumers -- protections to many marketers have abused in the past.

But they also hamstring legitimate marketers.

A "Do Not Follow" list in particular could crippled online advertising and marketing. Writes MSNBC in covering the proposal:


The Internet proposal comes amid impressive gains in online advertising revenues, providing critical revenue to startups and Web giants such as Google and Yahoo. Online ad sales are forecast to more than double to $44 billion in 2011 from $17 billion in 2006, according to eMarketer.com. The growing popularity of online ads is due in part to the sophisticated technology available to target ads.


It could not only imperil advertising, it could make it difficult for small businesses to know who his coming to their Web site and analyze how best to serve them. When used properly, technologies like cookies and Web analytics help businesses better serve their customers, not just abuse their privacy.

What do you think? Do you find Internet companies are trampling on your privacy enough to warrant such a measure? Are you worried it will limit your ability to track customers online or target advertising effectively?










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