TV ads are about to get personal with new targeting tools

A phone company's ad reaches a consumer looking for a new wireless plan. A car commercial is seen by a driver whose auto lease is about to expire. A bank gets its message in front of a small business owner who needs a loan. Such surgical marketing messages are taken for granted on the Internet. Yet, they are just now finding their way onto television, where the audience is big though harder to target. As brands shift more of their spending to the Web where ads are more precise, the TV industry is pushing back. Using data from cable set-top boxes that track TV viewing, credit cards and other sources, media companies including Comcast's NBCUniversal, Time Warner's Turner and...