Monday, February 21, 2005 - Cable firms make you easy target for TV ads

Digital boxes are giving cable companies the capability to know who is watching at the other end of the cable. According to this article the technology allows the companies to target ads to the neighborhood or even the individual house. They will also be able to deliver ads for the viewer to request, ads-on-demand.

I see some potential problems as this grows.
For neighborhood advertising the examples they give are innocuos enough. They can give different phone numbers for different areas of town or shout-out your neighborhood in the ad. This will be okay until someone finds out that they are offering different deals to, say, a black neighborhood or hispanic. Redlining!
The option to send a different message to each household probably will not work unless they get information from credit or personal data houses. I can't wait. Now the pre-approved credit card offers will be on your television too.

Somewhat bitterly I have to admit that the advertisers will probably love the idea of targeted ads. I personally feel annoyed by them. I would rather have an ad that says this is our product, this is why we are better than others, come buy one when you need one. I get creeped out by ads that make it sound as if they know exactly what you want and need, 'so you better take this offer now.'
Anyway, coming soon, to homes across America. Television ads that will want more than just to give you information. They will want to manage the valuable customer relationship that we share.
Creepy. - Cable firms make you easy target for TV ads


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