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ValueClick Partners with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

An Interview with Jason Bier, Chief Privacy Officer of ValueClick

Q: What does ValueClick do?

A: ValueClick, Inc. provides online advertising campaigns and programs for advertisers and advertising agency customers in the United States and internationally. Our customers include direct marketers, brand advertisers, the advertising agencies, and traffic distribution partners.

Q: How long have you been an NAI member, and what were your reasons for joining the organization? 

A: ValueClick has been a member of the NAI since 2006 and, in fact, in 2011 ValueClick joined the Board of Directors.  As a third-party network, we have a strong incentive to preserve, protect and promote our place in the online advertising ecosystem.  The NAI provides us with the tools to remain compliant with the evolving best practices around data collection and use, and our membership and place on the Board demonstrates our strong commitment to upholding high standards in consumer privacy. 

Q: Your Emergency Messaging service, made possible by third-party advertising technology, has earned a lot of attention recently.  What can you tell us about this program?

A:  Third party ad networks provide a vital service to the Internet – they have the ability to connect websites and retailers together, and the technological means to deliver personalized messaging to users navigating the Web. 

Our partnerships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Missing and  Exploited Children (NCMEC) uses the very same technology that powers interest-based advertising to serve tornado warnings and Amber Alerts in the place of commercial messages in an identified area of danger or where a child is abducted;  it also funds such vital geo-targeted delivery through revenue generated from those commercial advertisements.  The hundreds of millions of tornado warnings and Amber Alerts served by ValueClick since May 2011 have engagement rates that are 1,500% greater than industry average, which represents the success and importance of a technology that can be used to increase the avenues of communication available to NOAA and NCMEC for reaching those in the path of a threatening natural disaster and increasing immediate awareness in the event of an AMBER Alert. 

Q: Why is a service like this important today? 

Today, more than ever, people are watching recorded television or no television at all.  Social media and the Internet, in general, are “always on,” and often the first source of breaking news. Recently, a man residing in Pennsylvania wrote to Congress to explain that without the partnership between ValueClick and NOAA, he would not have been notified of a tornado warning that ultimately resulted in a touch down within two miles of his home. He and his wife heard rumors of a weather event on social media, but were not formally notified of the danger approaching their area until they were served a message from the National Weather Service in the place of a banner advertisement. With that information, they were able to take precautions and contact people who might have also been in harm’s way. His letter accurately stated that:

 “This system is a great value to the modern connected masses: the earlier we know about a possible natural disaster, the more of a chance we have to prepare ourselves for it. Please give the ValueClick Emergency Messaging system all the support you can, this system has the potential to save many lives.” 

ValueClick does this all through the collection of anonymous data and its ability, as a third party network, to develop the sophisticated technology and employ the creative minds that are improving the quality and the relevance of the Internet as a whole.

Q: How can other NAI members get involved?

ValueClick is eager to join hands with other third party online advertising companies during emergencies to further expand the reach of this incredible emergency messaging system.  24/7 Media is already a partner and actively allocating its online traffic to ValueClick for AMBER Alerts across its network through the program.

We encourage NAI members who are interested to contact: Ben Kiel, bkiel@dotomi.com.

Q: Where can people go to learn more?

A:  Learn more here by watching this educational video: www.valueclick.com/emergency_messaging.  You can also read about another blog from a father in Nashville, Tennessee, that received a tornado warning here.