Marketing data company, Acxiom, will use the data collected offline on consumer activity to target more relevant ads to consumers online.
Like other data brokers, Acxiom routinely mines phone books, voter lists, property records, warranty cards and other data to profile and categorize your household and about 130 million others across the country into 70 categories.
Relevance-X, the new online program Acxiom launched in October, taps those "life stage" categories to target advertising.
Now, when you give your name and address to an online retailer, survey service or other Web site partnering with Acxiom, the company will match you against its offline records — unless you specifically decline sharing.
And then it will tag your computer with a "cookie" identifying your life stage and match that with the type of site you are visiting to determine which ad to show.
A few weeks ago, a similar targeting service from Facebook received a lot of flak. Using offline content to target ads online falls in more or less the same category.
The article also reports that a similar service tried by DoubleClick had to be shut down after receiving criticism.
Even though the company claims to have factored in the issues faced by DoubleClick, how comfortable are you with the increased focus on targeting users with advertisements?