Turow Book Summary
December 8, 2013
Joseph Turow is the author of The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth. His book has really put things into perspective for millions of people. His goal in this book is to make people aware of what is happening in the media world under the hood. Knowing what is under the hood could change people’s perspective forever about the media and may bring people to be more cautious about their online use than ever before.
The point of having advertisements and cookies is that companies feel like they need to know more about their consumers. There are consequences for doing that though like they need to be prepared to share data about their followers with publishers and marketers in the new environment.
The media buying industry is something a lot larger than what some people lead on. Cable TV was allowing advertisers to advertise across channels and many demographics. When the Internet rolled around everything multiplied and made it harder for cable TV to catch up. A whole new world of media buying and planning companies emerged. Following people around on a website is an example of this difference from TV and Internet. Now companies can see everything you do on one website and then everything people do across a variety of websites. This process starts a chain reaction and creates a profile of people. A lot of people have realized how to delete cookies and that is one way that they can avoid this from happening to them. Because when someone keeps their cookies, it allows companies to target things to them specifically like; ads, discounts, world news, etc.
There is so much competition now to have ads appear on certain websites and who is first in line on a Google search. Legacy media (print media) is going down in revenue because everyone is going digital. No one is spending money on subscriptions anymore because they can get their information from the Internet and the information is free. Legacy media is losing consumers and the consumers are moving into the digital age and they are losing millions. The companies who are doing this are destroying publishing ethics. The business side of publications should not speak to the editorial side of publications. The magazine world is failing because subscriptions are going out of the window and now people are questioning why magazines are even in existence.
The point of The Daily You is that what someone does on the Internet defines them for life. Companies are keeping track of everything people purchase and even things that someone looks at. The issue with this is that no one has any idea of what is going on and what the implications will be. Of course it could benefit people because if they have looked at something they could really be interested in those types of products and want to be targeted, but sometimes people just look at random things and it does not matter to them at all. But making a profile and following someone on the Internet should not be the case until the person knows exactly what is going on under the hood. Turow is not against ad targeting, he is just against it happening when other people do not understand it. When marketers/advertisers do this without permission from the consumers, it could hurt them in the end because when people start finding out what is really going on and what it all entails, it could really change the world.
Since each person has their own profile that means that whatever we see as ads is targeted to them specifically because of the things they have looked at in the past. Does this mean that people are being restricted by the marketing companies of what sort of deals and discounts they get because of what they have looked at before? That is exactly what it means. People are going to start realizing what is going on and they are not going to be too happy when they find out that someone else is seeing something completely different. These types of things affect the way people view the world. People may see different news stories because of what they have clicked on in the past that means that they may not see the same information or news as the next-door neighbor. Who gives the advertisers and marketing companies the right to target people? Who gives marketers/advertisers the right to follow them? There are major privacy concerns because people are going to start questioning why someone else gets a piece of information and they do not. If the marketers/advertisers track and follow the right way then the public will feel safe. If they do it any other way, then it will destroy their system and cause a riot.
Turow, J. (2011). The Daily You: How the Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth. New Haven: Yale University Press.
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. (2012). Knowledge@Wharton. Big brother: have new advertising models become too aggressive and intrusive? Retrieved from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/big-brother-have-new-advertising-models-become-too-aggressive-and-intrusive/