If your credit score is excellent (above 720ish) and you use Google, you just might find yourself noticing more luxury product ads under a new pilot advertising program.
Why would Google be interested in serving ads based on your credit score? For one thing, credit scores are becoming increasingly important to our financial lives...your credit (or lake thereof) can even prevent you from getting a job in some cases! Also, there is a correlation between credit scores and buying patterns.
The growing importance of credit scores has helped propel this newest twist in advertising based on credit scoring. And, simply put, Google sees this is a great opportunity to further enhance their advertising based revenue model which accounts for the vast majority of their revenue.
Google Accesses Your FICO Credit Score
So how does it work? Currently, the pilot program for marketing ads based on credit scores involves a partnership with a data analytics firm. Two million consumers from its database who applied for a credit card are being targeted. This allows an "opt in" opportunity for Google to access those folks who were approved for credit. It is anticipated that if these efforts succeed, any financial transaction utilizing credit scores could become part of this program.
It's important to note that Google will not be seeing your credit score, though. In the words of Google representative Sandra Heikkinen, as quoted at Marketing Vox, "The distinction is incredibly important, as consumer privacy is incredibly important to us. 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."
Is Advertising Based on Credit Scores Really a Stretch?
But this statement has not slowed down some negative backlash concerning privacy issues. While privacy concerns are to be suspected, it is worth noting that any person can go to a good marketing research company and ask, "Who recently purchased a high-priced mortgage?" Of course, they could get the same type of information for free at most county clerk offices. They could also ask a marketing firm, "Who purchased a certain type of auto?"
The bottom line is that it simply does not seem to be that great a stretch to ascertain who has a certain credit score and then generate ads based on that score, especially if you apply for a credit card and don't opt out of future offerings.