No Worries, You’re A Moving Target Who Can’t Be Tracked

Online marketers don’t know jack about Matthew Creamer, and they probably don’t know much about you.

In his latest Ad Age piece, Creamer says he spent time closing observing the display ads being fed to him over a 48-hour period and concluded:

If the internet advertising business understands me correctly, then I am a sugary-drink-swilling, spendthrift sucker with a yen for new wheels and a body-image problem or two.

Happily, it doesn’t.

After two days of paying close attention to what I was being sold as I wandered around the internet, it’s my conclusion that, despite the loud cries of digital-privacy advocates, online advertisers don’t know nearly as much about us as we might be led to believe.

Creamer believes “there’s a big gulf between how online advertising is talked about and how it’s experienced.”

Which leads me to ask, which ads are looking at you right now? I’ve got one from Yahoo! promising to show me the future of digital advertising. Contextual advertising at its best? I don’t think so. Yahoo! and Ad Age don’t know my thoughts on the topic. If they knew my thoughts–because I’ve made them known on Twitter, Facebook or on this site–and Ad Age had a deep bench of display ads to pull from, then maybe I would be served an ad for a log cabin in Montana or Alaska (because that’s what privacy means to me).



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.