Geo-Fencing Used To Target Ads Towards “Abortion-Minded Women”




/ 4 years ago

Can someone use your location to tell you that abortion is wrong?

We all hate adverts, be it a large one covering an entire web page or a small video that we can’t seem to stop appearing at the very bottom of a page. With the rise of ad blockers, the companies behind those adverts are having to look at all new ways to tracking down and advertising products not just to the person on the phone or computer but also the people who create and pay for the advert. The result has been an advertising agency looking at using geofencing technology to target a set of ads towards women in abortion clinics all over America.

The idea was born from John Flynn, CEO of Copley Advertising, who sent powerpoints to a range of groups that might be interested in advertising to “abortion-minded women”. He discovered that by using the mobile geo-fencing technology that is often used to detect your location, he could advertise anti-abortion adverts to anyone sitting within a Planned Parenthood clinic.

The counter argument for this type of advertising has been strong, with people quickly feeling like their privacy and safety may be at risk. Companies and organisations which assist people in these decisions feel like their institutions and staff may be put at risk if a large number of users are detected at their facilities.

With many users accepting to the use of their data such as their location without a second thought, advertising campaigns like this may just provoke people to think about what they agree to in the future.


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