An advertisement auction system is presented in which content/opportunity providers announce to advertisers that they have an opportunity to present an advertisement to a consumer. The advertiser transmits ad characterization information which is correlated with the consumer profile. Based on the results of the correlation, the advertisers place bids for the advertisement opportunity. Upon acceptance of a bid the advertisement is delivered to the consumer. The system can be applied to a variety of media including Internet advertisements, advertisements delivered over cable television systems, and printed materials such as magazines and periodicals. The system allows consumers to receive more targeted advertisements which match their lifestyle and interests, insures advertisers that their ads will be received by the appropriate audience, and allows the content/opportunity provider the ability to maximize revenue for the advertising opportunity.