EBay Will Support Targeted Ads Based on User Activity: Report

By Cameron Scott 

EBay will begin allowing brands to target advertising to its users based on the data it collects about them, Stephen Howard-Sarin, the company’s head of digital display in North America, said at an advertising conference today, according to Ad Week.

Marketers would provide their criteria to eBay, and eBay would place the ads.

EBay joins a growing number of companies that are effectively leasing out the data they collected about users to marketers. The practice allows marketers to advertise based on very specific behaviors. For instance, Howard-Sarin said a telecommunications company inquired about advertising to eBay users who had purchased a cell phone three years ago.

The deals allow tech companies to assure users that their data isn’t being shared while still profiting from the use of that data. They allow marketers to narrow their audience and thus save money, but they require more work for advertising departments and agencies, who must work with a growing list of platforms to place ads.

“If you’re an agency and it complicates your life because we’ve got a unique pool of data that you don’t have, tough,” Howard-Sarin said, according to the report.