The Guardian was mentioned as one of the partners signed up to the Open Internet Exchange (OIX) advertising company, which would deliver adverts based on data collected from monitoring categories of websites visited by broadband providers.
The Register covers the news that The Guardian is to not take part in at least the initial wave of deployment of the system which apart from trials is some months off.
It is true that we have had conversations with them [Phorm] regarding their services but we have concluded at this time that we do not want to be part of the network. Our decision was in no small part down to the conversations we had internally about how this product sits with the values of our company.
I hope you appreciate that the quality of the Guardian's editorial is funded by our advertising sales operation and it is our duty to keep abreast of all developments in this sector. In this instance, however, I agree with you that this is not something that we should be partnering.The Guardian advertising manager, Simon Kilby
Another newspaper believed to be signed up to OIX is the Financial Times. The Guardian with some 19.52 million visitors in February is the most popular newspaper website in the UK and pulling out may result in others reconsidering their position.
For Phorm to succeed it will need deals with large websites otherwise advertisers are unlikely to reap the benefits and providers like BT who are providing the raw data will not see the large sums of money that attracted the decision makers to the system. The online advertising market while large is still small compared to the cost and audience reach of television and radio advertising. Even if Phorm does not succeed we will see more systems that claim to better target online advertising, since there is a holy grail in adverts to only serve your advertising to people who are interested in it.
Many consumers see advertising as something they would rather not have, but it is accepted as a necessary evil. The uproar over Phorm and the confusion over what it will and won't do shows the degree to which people will tolerate advertising invading their daily life.
Update 2:45pm Apparently The Register has been informed by Phorm that MySpace is not a partner in the OIX.