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Google to Target Users by FICO Score

Google plans to experiment with targeting ads based on credit scores, offering users with high FICOs more expensive luxury goods and services than those with lower scores, writes Mashable.

Google is launching the initiative in tandem with Compete, which has a database of about 2 million web users that agreed to provide info on their credit scores when they applied for a new credit card, says Google's senior industry marketing manager for financial services, Masha Korsunsky.

Advertisers that want to reach consumers with a high FICO score, and who applied for mortgages in the first quarter, could be given access to a list of websites on the Google content network that index against this segment, Korsunsky said.

Although the data will primarily be used to target users looking for a credit card (especially those within the Super Prime segment, who have a FICO score of 720 or more), companies that sells luxury goods or services might be interested in displaying ads only to customers with a high credit score.

In an email from a representative at Google, the company took pains to add that "Google did not see, and will not see, consumer credit scores.

"The distinction is incredibly important, as consumer privacy is incredibly important to us," wrote Google's Sandra Heikkinen. "There are no plans for Google to use FICO related targeting for any of its products or offerings, and we don't collect or serve ads based on personal information without user permission."

Online ad revenue optimization service PubMatic recently released a tool called Ad Price Prediction that can help publishers predict the cost of an ad unit in real time.

Last month, Yahoo launched a new effort for Smart Ads, whereby it will partner with third-party ad technology firms to expand behavioral display ads to mobile.

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