The DoubleClick Controversy|IT and Systems|Case Study|Case Studies

The DoubleClick Controversy

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Case Details:

Case Code : ITSY014
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1995-2001
Pub Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Organization :
Industry : Internet Commerce
Countries : USA

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Background Note

DoubleClick was started as 'Internet Advertising Network' (IAN) in Atlanta, Georgia by two software professionals Kevin O'Connor (Connor) and Dwight Merriman in 1995...

The Controversy

To deliver targeted ads, DoubleClick used an advertisement management technology, DART (Dynamic Advertising Reporting and Targeting). DART delivered ads to web pages based on what the user was searching for or information already known about the consumer. DART technology thus targeted and delivered ads to web users based on pre-selected criteria, including the website category, time of day and regional geographic location.' If the user responded by 'clicking on the ad,' DoubleClick servers directed him to the advertisers' website for more information...

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The Debate

The use of customer databases has become an integral part of building better customer relationships through electronic commerce...

The Future

Amidst growing public outcry, DoubleClick announced a five-point initiative to silence its critics. The company released full-page advertisements in major newspapers, announcing various measures to deal with the allegations leveled against it. DoubleClick decided to appoint a privacy officer and a privacy advisory board and strengthen the mechanism to let people opt out of its services through notification by a 'pop-up' box whenever personal data was sought from them. DoubleClick also said that it would do businesses only with companies that had strict privacy policies...


Exhibit I: Doubleclick Share Price Movement - (March 1999 to February 2002)
Exhibit II: Double Click - Privacy Policy
Exhibit III: Doubleclick - Financial Statements

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