Bob Hoffman wrote a blog post WIRED: “BAN TARGETED ADVERTISING”.

« This week, Wired published a provocative article entitled Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising?”  The article makes a pretty good case for the awfulness and dangers of “microtargeting.”  But the problem with the article is its premise. »

«  We can’t “just ban targeted advertising.” All advertising is targeted. Long before the internet was invented Clairol targeted women, Old Spice targeted men… »

« The real issue isn’t targeting. The issue is tracking — the collection and exploitation of personal, private information about individuals without their knowledge or informed consent. If legitimate privacy rights were being defended and protected, and tracking (online surveillance) were banned, the type of dangerous advertising Wired is railing against would not be possible. Neither would a lot of other dangerous activities. Don’t ban targeting, ban tracking.  »

Bob Hoffman is the author of Advertising For Skeptics (2020) and BadMen: How Advertising Went From a Minor Inconvenience to a Major Menace (2017) and several other books.

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