March 21, 2018

The Irresponsibilty Of The Ad Industry

I posted this on LinkedIn yesterday and got some nice reaction to it. Being the lazy-ass bastard I am, I thought I'd re-post it here today and go out and have a beer.

Thus far the ad industry has been lucky. We have escaped the outrage and scorn that have been heaped on Facebook.

Lucky for us, the media and the public still don't get it. They don't understand at who's behest all the unconscionable collection, trading, and selling of personal, private information is being done. They haven't put two-and-two together yet and realized who is really at fault for the Cambridge Analytica and Russian election tampering scandals.

Our industry "leadership" have been uniquely incompetent and shamefully irresponsible in dealing with the dangers that ad tech has created.

Being the concerned, responsible, and annoying citizen that I am, in September of last year I wrote to a leader of one of our most influential trade organizations.
"You are now in a unique position to do something amazingly worthwhile about a very dangerous situation the agency industry has gotten itself into. I’m talking about surveillance marketing, tracking, and ad tech. These are very unhealthy for us as individuals and as members of a free society... can we have a brief talk about this subject? I would like to try to convince you... that this is an issue you guys should put on your agenda. It will not make you many friends among the holding companies, but you can do our industry and our country a great service."
In October, I personally wrote to another of our "leaders." Here's what I wrote:
"The ad industry has been irresponsibly negligent in its recognition of the implications of online tracking and surveillance. It is a very serious issue for free societies. I believe it is destined to explode in our face if we don’t start to do something about it...You are in a position to take a leadership role in giving mature consideration to this issue and bring some responsibility to our industry...You will be doing a service to the industry and to society...If you choose to do this I will help you in any way I can."
In neither case did I even get a reply.

There is now no doubt in my mind that the ad industry is in some deep shit. This problem is not going to go away. Pretty soon even the dimwits in Washington are going to see our fingerprints all over these debacles.

Any sense of responsibility that the ad industry once had has been drowned in the loose ethics and corrupt practices of the online ad industry and repulsive holding company creeps.

Meanwhile we waste our time at the "Programmatic Activation Worldwide Insider Summit" or some other idiotic conference when we should be discussing what to do about the shit storm we have created.

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