unsolicited ad noise

Advertising is good. Advertising is bad.

Advertising (like Branding) has an important role to play and is ‘essential’ to a healthy and efficient economy. The principal of Advertising is essentially good.

  • We have something to sell,
  • this is what it is,
  • this is how it works,
  • this is what it does for you,
  • this is how you will benefit from it,
  • this is how much it will cost you,
  • this is how you buy it.
  • would you like to buy one now sir/maam?

The problem, is the Unsolicited Distribution Model that Advertising pursues.

  • The Ad that plays every time you want to watch the news (not too mention the Ads that pretend to be News)
  • The Ad break in your favourite show
  • The Ad that appears in your social feed
  • The Billboard that spoils the view
  • The Junk Mail in your inbox
  • The Unsolcited Mail in your letterbox
  • A phone call at Dinner time selling some service

In this model, Ads are put in front of us when we aren’t looking for that information and generally gets in the way of what we are trying to do.

Sure, on the web anyway, the Ad showing algorithms are getting pretty good at showing us an Ad that might be something we are interested in, at the right time, based on our Persona or some past behaviour — but it’s still interupting our focus and stealing our time and attention.

Unsolicited Advertising (and that is almost all Advertising) is Bad.

Consider Google — they solved it some years ago with Search. They started with a pull model — show relevant content when a user is actually looking for that information.

Sadly since those early days Google has adopted the Unsolicited Distribution Model in many of it’s services — Youtube for example.

If Advertising distribution can move from push(unsolicited) to pull(solicited) — it has a better chance of survival — in my opinion.

Society is moving on and the tech is already there to enable pull. The problem is our modern rising and highly valued tech businesses (and disappearing media companies) all utilise that same old Unsolicited Advertising model (and we as consumers put up with it today — but for how much longer who knows), where essentially the value in those businesses is the value of the Audience inventory that they sell to Advertisers.

This leads to privacy issues, distortions in the media, damage to journalistic integrity, low quality ads, and more.

And if we stop accepting Unsolicited Advertising — how do companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Youtube, etc survive?

Can we get customers to pay for services again?

There is undoubtedly a conflict — we don’t want unsolicited advertising, but we still want free services.

So how do we re-solve that conflict.

That is the question that I am (and I’m sure others are too) trying to answer.

- DV

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Advertising is good. Advertising is bad.

Advertising (like Branding) has an important role to play and is ‘essential’ to a healthy and efficient economy.

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