The Daily You

How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth

By Joseph Turow
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300165012, 256pp.)

Publication Date: January 2012

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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 newspaper "The 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 reflects "diminished" consumer 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.




About the Author
Joseph Turow, called by the "New York Times" "probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation," is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He is the the author of "Breaking Up America: Advertisers and the New Media World", among other books, and the editor of "The Wired Homestead" (MIT Press, 2003).


NPR
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012

Advertisers collect information with every digital move people make. They then target ads based on that information. Communications scholar Joseph Turow worries that advertisers will use such data to discriminate against people and put them into "reputation silos." More at NPR.org

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