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The Daily You

The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth

Joseph Turow
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    The Daily You
    Book Description:

    The Internet is often hyped as a means to enhanced consumer power: a hypercustomized media world where individuals exercise unprecedented control over what they see and do. That is the scenario media guru Nicholas Negroponte predicted in the 1990s, with his hypothetical online newspaperThe Daily Me-and it is one we experience now in daily ways. But, as media expert Joseph Turow shows, the customized media environment we inhabit today reflectsdiminishedconsumer power. Not only ads and discounts but even news and entertainment are being customized by newly powerful media agencies on the basis of data we don't know they are collecting and individualized profiles we don't know we have. Little is known about this new industry: how is this data being collected and analyzed? And how are our profiles created and used? How do you know if you have been identified as a "target" or "waste" or placed in one of the industry's finer-grained marketing niches? Are you, for example, a Socially Liberal Organic Eater, a Diabetic Individual in the Household, or Single City Struggler? And, if so, how does that affect what you see and do online?

    Drawing on groundbreaking research, including interviews with industry insiders, this important book shows how advertisers have come to wield such power over individuals and media outlets-and what can be done to stop it.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16652-1
    Subjects: Sociology, Marketing & Advertising

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    At the start of the twenty-first century, the advertising industry is guiding one of history’s most massive stealth efforts in social profiling. At this point you may hardly notice the results of this trend. You may find you’re getting better or worse discounts on products than your friends. You may notice that some ads seem to follow you around the internet. Every once in a while a website may ask you if you like a particular ad you just received. Or perhaps your cell phone has told you that you will be rewarded if you eat in a nearby restaurant...

  5. Chapter 1 The Power Under the Hood
    (pp. 13-33)

    During the early days of the Web the pattern was set for advertisers to turn profiles of Web visitors into decisions about their marketing value—in other words, their reputation. Nicholas Negroponte might have charted that potential inBeing Digital, his best-selling 1995 guide to the new order, but he didn’t. Neither did the public intellectuals who followed him. The result was that marketers’ growing power remained hidden from public view—and it remains so to this day. At a time when concerns about privacy and the creepiness of Web tracking are making headlines, the under-the-hood forces that generate these...

  6. Chapter 2 Clicks and Cookies
    (pp. 34-64)

    The May 17, 1993, issue ofAdweekfeatured an essay urging the advertising industry to colonize the internet. Its author, business writer and researcher Michael Schrage, was sure major advertisers would turn the internet into their next great vehicle. Writing at a time when media buyers saw the internet as both primitive and anti-commercial, Schrage adopted a tone that was both admonitory and celebratory. He began by invoking the hot media properties of the day to flag the superiority of the internet: “A uniquely American network that’s growing faster than John Malone’s TCI ever did; that’s even more global than...

  7. Chapter 3 A New Advertising Food Chain
    (pp. 65-87)

    Starting from zero in 2002, in two years Google made $2.08 billion from the advertising that appeared next to its search engine results.¹ Its rocketing “paid search” business marked the beginning of a new chapter in advertising history and had ripple effects throughout the online and off-line media economy. To understand why marketers would get so excited about search-engine advertising, consider that for decades they had been fixated on what they call the “purchase funnel,” or “consumer decision journey”²—the multistage trip that people take when they make a purchase, from awareness of product choices to action on those choices....

  8. Chapter 4 Targets or Waste
    (pp. 88-110)

    Marketers are increasingly using databases to determine whether to consider particular Americans to be targets or waste. Those considered waste are ignored or shunted to other products the marketers deem more relevant to their tastes or income. Those considered targets are further evaluated in the light of the information that companies store and trade about their demographic profiles, beliefs, and lifestyles. The targets receive different messages and possibly discounts depending on those profiles.

    This work of creating reputations from profiles was at the heart of a 2010 PowerPoint presentation that Publicis, a French multinational advertising and communications company, made to...

  9. Chapter 5 Their Mastersʹ Voices
    (pp. 111-137)

    “Marketers haven’t ever wanted to underwrite the content industry,” Rishad Tobaccowala says bluntly when interviewed for this book in 2010. “They’ve been forced.”¹ Tobaccowala is chief strategy and innovation officer of the Publicis subsidiary VivaKi. Publicis is the fourth largest marketing communications holding company in the world (behind Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic). Publicis is also the world’s second largest media planning and buying group, second only to WPP. VivaKi functions as a hub of innovation for Publicis, creating structures that subsidiaries don’t have the resources to put together on their own. At one point Tobaccowala was the entire company’s chief...

  10. Chapter 6 The Long Click
    (pp. 138-170)

    Two digital-agency executives whom I interviewed separately for this book in 2010 both described Facebook as a “black hole.” This is an ironic description of a social-media vehicle that has been criticized for sheddingtoo muchlight on the bodies, boasts, and other personal affairs of some of the approximately half a billion people worldwide who use it. Yet the two officials, Rishad Tobaccowala of Publicis and Michael Stich of Bridge Worldwide, were echoing media buyers’ complaints that Facebook interferes with their ability to follow individuals across the Web. Facebook, they noted, is a walled garden where only Facebook itself...

  11. Chapter 7 Beyond the ʺCreepʺ Factor
    (pp. 171-200)

    “Queasy,” “Icky,” “Creepy”—it’s not unusual for people to use these words when expressing their concerns about companies tracking them online. These labels have even reached the halls of the U.S. Senate during a 2010 privacy hearing convened by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who said she found behavioral targeting troubling. “I understand that advertising supports the Internet, but I am a little spooked out,” McCaskill said. “This is creepy.”¹ Joanna O’Connell of the consulting firm Forrester Research spoke similarly in a National Public Radio interview that discussed marketers’ tracking of consumers. In describing marketers’ attempts to determine at which point...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 201-220)
  13. Index
    (pp. 221-234)