Three Top Tips for Controlling Your Personalised Ads

Personalised ads are still a relatively knew thing, so how do we control how we interact with them?

Here are three quick and simple tips for controlling your ads, depending on what outcome you’d like –

  1. No Personalised Ads

You can’t get rid of ads online or on social media, but if you’d like to receive non-tailored ads, it’s a simple thing to achieve.

Firstly, in the settings of your preferred search engine, there should be an ‘Ads Settings’ section.

All you have to do is click it over to ‘Ad personalisation is OFF’, or similar – and your ads will no longer be personalised on that search engine.

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Image Credit

If you use more than one search engine, do the same for every search engine you use.

 

  1. More Relevant Ads

If you like the idea of having personalised ads, but you think that you should be seeing more relevant adverts on your browser or apps, the solution is simple –

For normal online browsing, all you have to do is search terms on things that you enjoy. For instance,

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Image Credit

Searching ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ resulted in the following advertisements across all of my social media platforms:

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Images are screenshots from Facebook.com and Instagram.com

 

  1. Getting Rid of Ads That You Dislike

There are two ways of getting rid of adverts that you don’t want to see – the first being simply clicking the top right corner menu of any ad and clicking the option that often says “I don’t like this ad”. If the ad still persists after that, you also have the option to mute or block the advertisers. If you find the ad offensive or inappropriate, you can also report the ad in this way.

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* I have blacked out the company information because I have no issues with this advert – for the purposes of demonstration, I’ve simply used the first advert I came across on Twitter.com *

However, it has become evident through a little experimentation, saying that you “don’t like” an ad sometimes isn’t enough. Oftentimes, a very similar ad from the same company can pop up almost immediately after you’ve done this.

That is where this next tip comes in handy – you can manipulate these adverts in another way too.

If you search “I hate ‘x’ company” several times over a few days, the adverts for said company will stop appearing because the algorithms that run adverts on social media and certain websites will understand through your data that you will not be interested in their products/services.

I have been trying this technique over the past few weeks, and while I can’t say it will 100% work for you, I can state that it has been working wonderfully for me!


In terms of PR specifically, this advertising phenomenon is interesting because it shows how the public has more control over their interactions with companies than ever before. Now, we can decide who is allowed to advertise to us, and who isn’t. We can make our voices heard with the block, mute, or report buttons. We can manipulate the algorithm to suit our needs, as well as the needs of the companies. The relationship between advertiser and viewer is ever-changing, and as PR professionals, we need to be aware of this fact.

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