“Spychips” Sells, But Ad Age Doesn’t Seem To Buy It

Regular AdPulp readers know that I’m not a huge fan of the massive movement to collect data to track individual consumers. And while I haven’t read it, I am aware of the new book Spychips, because the author of the book has been making the rounds of talk shows.
Well, the popularity of the book has caught Ad Age’s attention.

Potential marketing applications of radio-frequency identification chips — which range from in-store marketing to tracking readership of magazine ads — may be harder than ever to implement now that a new book lambasting the companies behind the technology is showing surprising popularity.

“Surprising popularity?” Bullshit. Consumers don’t want their every move and purchase to be tracked. And when they find out about it, it pisses them off. Which is why marketers are going to great lengths to hide their pryin’ eyes.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Yes, people don’t like their privacy invaded, but more because we don’t usually give them anything in return. But that only seems to be one key area of the book. Their also seems to be a very large discusion about how RFID is a tool of Satan and that if you want to be saved, you need to stay away from RFID. As they said in the Ad Age piece: “A second edition of her book due in January links RFID to the “mark of the beast” in the Book of Revelations.”
    And, her new book is entitled “The Spychips Threat : Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Computer Tracking.”
    It’s one thing to speak about the privacy issues and another thing to link a technology like RFID to Satan. There are many technical limitations to what RFID can do and seriously, they already know what you bought, unless you paid by cash and didn’t use the store affinity card. How much more info do they need, where you keep it in your house?
    We blogged about this book as well at http://blog.brandexperiencelab.org/experience_manifesto/2005/10/new_book_attack.html
    I am planning on reading the book, in case I’m wrong on this whole Satan thing!

  2. Honestly, I don’t know a thing about the “Mark of the Beast” or the Book of Revelations, but the author of this book, as well as the creator of an anti-Wal-Mart movie (an unrelated effort), have been directly appealing to evangelical Christians by framing their debates in terms the church people can relate to, in order to gain their support.
    It’s an interesting marketing tactic–and we’ll see more of it, I’m sure.

  3. Noteworthy Books: Spychips

    Spychips Rating (for Noteworthiness): Remember the splash Naomi Klein made with No Logo a few years back? Well, here's a new salvo in the war against marketers and their methods. Unlike No Logo, which gives an outmoded concept (conventional bra…