The Personalization Paradox in Facebook Advertising: The Mediating Effect of Relevance on the Personalization–Brand Attitude Relationship and the Moderating Effect of Intrusiveness

Judith Irene Maria de Groot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Advertisers increasingly use personal information in social media advertisements as a strategy to promote positive brand attitudes. Personalized ads can be perceived as both positive and negative. This two-sided effect of personalization refers to the personalization paradox. An online experiment (N = 209), in which the level of personalization was manipulated in a Facebook setting, aimed to provide a potential explanation for this paradox. The findings showed that a highly personalized ad resulted in stronger perceived personalization than a less personalized ad. Furthermore, the stronger the perceived personalization, the stronger the relevance. The relevance of the ad positively influenced brand attitude and fully mediated the relationship between personalization and attitude. However, in line with the assumptions of the information boundary theory, the more the ad was perceived as intrusive, the weaker the relevance–attitude relationship, thereby showing a boundary condition for the effectiveness of personalized information when targeting consumers on Facebook.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-74
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interactive Advertising
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Advertisement relevance
  • brand attitude
  • intrusiveness
  • personalization paradox
  • social media

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