The New York Times reports on reactions to Facebook's self-service ad system, which lets advertisers target promotions to users based on information they post to their profiles. Major advertisers have begun using the program, which was previously the domain of small businesses. "When it works, it's amazingly impactful," says Chicago consultant Tim Hanlon. When it doesn't work, "it's not only creepy but off-putting," Hanlon adds. Facebook members report that some targeted ads seem presumptuous and nonsensical. "What a marketer might think is endearing, by knowing a little bit about you, actually crosses the line pretty easily," Hanlon says. A Facebook spokesperson says the platform has come a long way in the past year and will continue to improve. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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