We care about people.
We’re a marketing company whose clients range from some of the biggest companies in the US to local charities, such as food banks. We help our clients identify people who might be interested in their marketing offers. In other words, we create audiences. To do this, we study consumer characteristics and then make predictions about what it is that individuals are likely to be interested in. We match those interests against the marketing goals of our clients to find the best fit. Sometimes our research is intended to help our clients find new customers, others to find new ways to serve existing customers. But whether they are our clients, the American consumer, or others, we care about people.
What we do is complex and it has an impact on consumer privacy. We’d like to take a moment to explain how we protect your privacy. We don’t release consumer information to third parties concerning specific items that a consumer has purchased, what magazines they read, or what charities they support. We don’t sell information to data brokers or compilers. We don’t possess or utilize credit card or bank account numbers. We don’t collect or store Social Security numbers or other government-issued identifiers. We don’t collect or store HIPAA data. We don’t work with clients whose offer we consider pornographic or harmful to families.
Instead, we analyze our clients’ customer information, and combine it with other demographic and interest-based data. We use statistical models designed to predict consumer interest in specific offers from particular businesses and charities. Often our client uses an audience we create to send direct mail. Many of our clients also deliver their marketing offers through online advertising, and in these cases interest-based information includes data regarding people’s web-viewing habits. Our models predict not only who might be interested in our clients’ offers but who are likely to have little or no interest in them. We exclude such persons from the audiences we create, reducing the amount of irrelevant advertising that they see and saving our clients’ money.
We work with a lot of data, so it’s fair to be interested in how we protect it. We have implemented technical, administrative, personnel, and physical measures to safeguard the security of all of the information in our custody. We align our security with the NIST-800-53 Rev 4 privacy and security controls published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and engage an external security audit firm to test our security against these standards annually. In addition to securing the data we use, we honor people’s choice regarding its collection and use. You see, we are consumers too. We care deeply about our own privacy and about how our company is perceived. We believe that almost everyone wants to receive offers that are relevant and valuable to them.
We belong to a number of trade associations, like the DAA and DMA, whose self-regulatory programs we follow; and they all require that businesses recognize and honor consumer choice. We do two important things to give you control over how data about you is used; first, by participating in the industry-standard opt-out regulating the practice of online behavioral advertising and, second, by using our own proprietary method to enable you to opt out of receiving marketing offers from companies with which you’ve never done business.
“Opt-out” is a frequently used term, but what it means and how it is implemented may differ from company to company, web site to web site. At its core, however, to opt out is to make a choice about how companies market to you. And we listen. Whether you have opted out of receiving direct mail or from receiving targeted display advertising or from receiving email messages, we respect your choices.
The industry-standard opt out for online behavioral advertising is an excellent way to make your choice in the context of online behavioral advertising. When you use one of these opt-out tools—and there are links to them below—a cookie is placed on your browser that signifies your choice. Respectable companies that serve display ads check for the presence of that cookie before determining whether they are allowed to serve a targeted ad on the browser. If they are not allowed to use interest-based advertising, they will instead display a random or generic ad. Respectable companies that play some role in online advertising, other than serving ads, partner with respectable ad serving companies to honor consumer choice. We work with respectable ad serving companies.
This cookie has its limitations. Cookies are temporary, browser-specific, and device-specific. If you clear your cookies, if your anti-virus software clears your cookies, if your browser is set not to accept third-party cookies, if you use a second browser, if you use a different device to view the Web, then the opt-out cookie will not reliably stop you being targeted with behavioral advertising. New tools are being developed throughout the industry to address this drawback.
We have addressed it in our own way. In addition to respecting cookie-based opts, we offer a database solution to storing consumer advertising choices. We have provided a form which you may fill out to indicate that you would prefer not to be included in many of the audiences that we create for our clients. When you complete the form we will record your choices in our database and exclude you from audiences—direct mail, digital, or both—that we create for our clients who are seeking to find new customers, subscribers, or donors. You may provide as many versions of your name and address as you like. This enables us to recognize you more completely in our database; many people receive marketing offers under a combination of nicknames, maiden names, and alternate or older addresses. This method reliably prevents you from receiving offers that we facilitate from companies or organizations that you have not dealt with in the past. And unlike the cookie-based solution, our database solution is permanent.
It is important to recognize what this won’t do. It does not preclude a particular company or organization that you have dealt with in the past from sending you new marketing offers. This works well for most people, because they have a voluntary, mutually-beneficial relationship with those companies that they have dealt with previously. Those who prefer not to receive offers from a particular company should contact it directly and ask that they not receive any more marketing materials from it.
Wiland, Inc. Opt-Out
Other Opt-Out Solutions
Our database solution does not stop you being advertised to in another context. If a client does not need to target individuals based on their personally identifying information, then the audience for its offer is not constructed from our database. This occurs online with largely anonymous audiences who can be targeted based on their geographic location, the type of device they are using to view the web, the websites they have viewed in the past, or other similar criteria. To prevent being marketed to in this way, you should avail yourself of the online behavioral advertising opt out procedures from DAA or NAI. By using both the online behavioral advertising opt out and our database opt out, you can reduce the amount of advertising you receive that is targeted specifically to you.
It is also important to point out that we do not control every piece of mail or every online ad or every email message or all of anything in any marketing channel. We are a major participant, yes. But we don’t control everything. If you opt out with us you will likely continue to get offers originated by others. To dramatically decrease advertising contacts you should not only opt out with us but also elsewhere. Some of the major opt out services are:
America is not a perfect place, but it is a wonderful place. The Internet is not a perfect place, but it is an incredibly valuable medium. The post office and direct mail aren’t perfect either, but they do a lot of good. Marketing enables written communication that raises millions for charity, brings excellent magazines and newspapers to avid readers, and delivers offers for goods and services that consumers enjoy. We are proud to be a part of this, and we are devoted to serving everyone well, both our clients and consumers.