(AP) -- A joint venture formed by the nation's six largest cable operators is suspending trials of its first advertising product before it even gets off the ground.
Canoe Ventures said Friday that it will discontinue plans for now to launch "community addressable messaging," which sends ads that vary by household depending on factors such as income and age.
The product has sparked privacy concerns. Privacy groups fear that these ads could lead to unwanted tracking of viewing habits and discrimination against poorer households.
Canoe says limitations of older cable systems and programmers' scheduling requirements proved problematic.
Confirming an earlier report by Multichannel News, Canoe says it still plans to introduce interactive ads later this year.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: Local media have positive slant toward local businesses, Rice University expert finds