March 18, 2004
In The Crosshairs: "Targeted" Ads 
I can understand the logic behind "targeted" ads (like the sort you see at the top of this blog), using the webpage's text content to select and generate dynamic advertising aimed at readers. It makes perfect marketing sense: whoever invented it was brilliant. However, in the real world, you sometimes get unexpected out-of-context effects.

Here's a similar scenario. You utter the word "porn" at a crowded cocktail party, perhaps while discussing First Amendment rights, censorship laws or something equally inocuous: some clueless sod overhears you, sidles over and whispers, "Hey, honey...did you say porn? I've got a great collection at my place...." You get the idea.

Well, the same thing happens here. One of us may post about sexual-enhancement e-mail Spam, and the targeted ad on the page starts displaying a clickthrough link for "Cheap Viagra!" I write a post about how much I disliked The Passion of the Christ, and the ads start touting "The True Story of Jesus! Are You Saved?" and "Mel Gibson DVD's 30% off!"

Fer land sakes. I wonder what the header ads will start selling on farkleberriesUSA after this post.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

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March 18, 2004
In The Crosshairs: "Targeted" Ads by Lenka Reznicek



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