Online marketers overstepping their welcome - a study of online behavioral advertising and its influence on perceived invasiveness and brand attitude
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- Master of Science 
Online behavioral advertising (OBA), an advertising technique based on consumers’ online personal data, is highly praised by practitioners for its efficiency and solid ability to create value for both the consumer and the advertiser. However, current literature is limited on long-term implications of OBA for the advertised brand. This study attempts to identify the potential damage OBA might cause when consumers perceive it negatively. With privacy concern as a well-established concept in the literature on OBA, the authors examine what happens when companies overstep the privacy limit leading consumers to feel invaded. Product sensitivity and ad relevance are proposed as antecedent factors influencing invasiveness with OBA knowledge as a moderator, and perceived invasiveness in turn is hypothesized to influence consumers’ attitudes toward the brand. Using a scenario-based experiment (N = 165), the proposed framework is tested with a twoway MANOVA and a PROCESS analysis. The findings show that consumers perceiving OBA as invasive will lead to a decrease in their attitudes toward the brand. Neither ad relevance nor product sensitivity are found as antecedent factors for perceived invasiveness, and consumers’ OBA knowledge do not moderate this relationship. However, OBA promoting sensitive products has a direct negative effect on consumers’ brand attitudes. These findings demonstrate that OBA should be used with caution, emphasizing the importance that advertisers avoid provoking the feeling of invasiveness.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2019