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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Ad-context Congruence Effects Revisited: The Interplay of Online Content, Contextual Targeting Ads, and Retargeting Ads

Published: May 27, 2020


Anja Spilski, Saarland University; Andrea Gröppel-Klein, Saarland University, Institute for Consumer & Behavioral Research; Philipp Engbarth, Saarland University; Alisa Rau, Saarland University


congruence; targeting; privacy


In the online domain, the congruence between web page content (context) and advertising is referred to as contextual targeting. Previous research has discussed moderators of the ad-context congruence effect. We suggest that an online advertisement is perceived not only in the context of the web page content but also in the context of a second ad appearing concurrently on the web page. Two experiments confirm a positive effect of the ad-context congruence in the case of a concurrent second ad that does not use the retargeting tactic. In contrast, under conditions of a concurrently appearing second ad that uses retargeting, the contextual targeting effect disappears. This change in effects is further moderated by consumers’ propensity to generate privacy concerns.