The Financial Times reports on a new deal in the United Kingdom between Yahoo search engine and Nectar, a loyalty-card company, that would link online ads to individuals’ offline purchases, raising privacy questions:
Online advertisers will be able to target shoppers based on their high-street purchases for the first time in the UK under a new scheme from Yahoo and Nectar.
The internet company and the loyalty card provider have signed an exclusive deal to combine their databases for customers who opt into the campaign.
Nectar’s historical data can highlight shoppers who may have bought a rival’s product or were loyal customers in the past. They can then be matched to their Yahoo log-ins – without revealing personally identifiable information – and shown more relevant ads across Yahoo’s sites. […]
Yahoo hopes its “Customer Connect” campaign will attract the kind of consumer-goods brands that so far have been reluctant to spend much of their marketing budget online. It already runs a similar service in the US, based on data from Nielsen’s panel of consumers who manually scan their shopping when they get it home. Nectar and Yahoo claim their UK collaboration is the world’s first advertising system based on automatically collected purchase data. […]
Cadbury will be among the first advertisers to trial the service, aided by PHD, its advertising agency. […]
Only Nectar customers who had been identified as registered Yahoo users were invited, and all have the opportunity to leave the service every quarter. The companies say that consumers’ privacy is protected.