Friday, December 4, 2009

Advertising is Creepy! Yes?

Apparently there is a new public service campaign directed towards online advertising- you know how you google something and the next day you see ads about exactly the thing you googled? That type of thing.

Does it creep you out?

It doesn't creep me out, maybe because I study Marketing and Public Relations- so I think it is one of the coolest things ever- or because I don't like having advertisements popping up all over, but if I did I would want them to be relevant to the things that I like!

According to an article published on Online Media Daily,

"The campaign comes as policymakers are questioning whether data collection by marketers violates consumers' privacy. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) has said he plans to introduce a bill that could require Web companies to notify users about online ad targeting, and in some circumstances, obtain their explicit consent.

In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has criticized the industry for using dense privacy policies to inform people about behavioral targeting, or tracking people online and sending them ads based on sites visited."

I don't really see the problem with advertisers practicing this! I think that it is a great solution to all of the advertising issues we deal with these days, and it is a great way to directly send advertisements to people who show interest in those things. Advertisements are a large part of what make our economy work, it is what keeps television on air and large Web sites running, and all of the other things we as Americans are addicted to!

The thing I don't agree with is putting cookies on my computer (that I paid a lot of money for thank you!) But if it doesn't mess with my operating system, and I can go into My Computer and delete tracking cookies from time to time, I really don't see a problem. It isn't like Google is going to judge you for looking for at certain things and all of the Googlers sit around laughing about what John Smith was looking at online last week- they just want a good way to sell products to people. It is all a large circle:

We like to look at cool FREE internet sites.
The internet site needs money to operate (boo).
The advertisers want to sell us things.
We want to buy things (sometimes).
The advertisers come up with ways to sell things to the people who want them.
The cool FREE internet sites give them an easy way to do this.
We can choose to click on these advertisements and complete the circle- or just watch them looming by on the screen.

What is the big deal?

My PR/Marketing/Capitalistic mindset doesn't understand.