Behavioral Targeting: A Tricky Issue for Marketers

“Submission Master Dummy.” That’s the latest come-on the social networking site’s contextual ad server is delivering to “Sluggo” these days.

Sluggo might sound like the local high school wrestling coach, but in the real world she’s just Mary, and tonight  she’s too tired to grapple with an ad for “the highest quality grappling dummy available” after she hits the publish button on her blog. With family issues and an emerging Web-based business to run, this 48-year-old Midwestern married mother of two teenage girls has enough on her plate. This latest ad almost has her longing for the equally inexplicable sponsored link for “Hot African Shemales” that seemed so drawn to her profile earlier in the year.

Sluggo’s got plenty of company. These days, countless users are wishing their social networking sites would simply pay attention to their online travels so they could serve up an ad for something they would