Explaining targeted ads

One of my favorite columnists is Steve Smith, who shares duties on MediaPost’s Behavioral Insider with Laurie Sullivan. Today, Smith provided some great clarity about targeted advertising, also known as digital ad targeting. It’s important for jurnos to wrap their heads around this, because it’s a useful technology, if not abused. (Oh how often have we hudroids said that about so many new technologies, including nuclear.) In Take Two Targeted Ads and Call Me In the Morning, Steve says:

How do you explain the technology behind digital ad targeting quickly and fairly enough so the consumer can make an informed choice about opting in or out, sharing their surfing history, etc.? Whatever regulatory or legislative measures come down the pike related to digital advertising in the next year, the industry still needs to find ways of translating a dark targeting art perfected by engineering dweebs into concepts and language that my 78-year-old dad can understand without reaching for his pistol.

It’s worth following the progress of behavioral marketing developments — and Behavioral Insider is a good place to start. (Dear FTC: I received no remuneration or gifts for this plug. And I’ve neither met, nor had communication with Smith or Sullivan.)

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