Monday, October 15, 2012

The Future Of The Surveillance Economy

In The New York Times article this weekend on Do Not Track, the general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) was quoted as saying, “If we do away with this relevant advertising, we are going to make the Internet less diverse, less economically successful, and frankly, less interesting.”

Really?  Less interesting for whom?

Advertisers?  Or, consumers?

You see, the reason given by the ad industry for tracking your every move online is to be able to deliver more relevant advertising to you.

Again, who’s defining relevancy here?  The advertiser?   Or, the consumer?

In my opinion, the biggest complaint with online advertising isn’t so much about relevancy as it is about intrusiveness  As it’s been stated here before, it’s not so much advertising that people are trying to avoid online as it is the intrusions to what they came to watch.

It just so happens that these intrusions are ads.  

The ad industry’s argument is that if the commercial is relevant, it’s not an intrusion.

C’mon.  If I didn’t ask for it, if I didn’t search it out, then yes, your ad is an intrusion whether relevant or not.

The problem with the ad industry’s approach is that they haven’t yet accepted that while TV is a reach platform where intrusions are tolerated, online isn't.

Online is a search platform.

As a search platform, the user is in control, not the advertiser.

Which means one thing. 

The user determines relevance.

Not the advertiser.

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