Blown To Bits

TV Ads Just for You

Saturday, March 7th, 2009 by Harry Lewis

Cable television networks are beginning to experiment with targeted advertising. Cablevision is trying out an indirect method. They buy data about their customers from Experian, which aggregates data about individuals for use in credit checking, etc. Once Cablevision knows that there’s no one over 30 at your address, or that you’re a single woman of 45, it can avoid showing you the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” ads. As Marc Rotenberg of EPIC agrees, there isn’t really any privacy breach here, yet. But the article continues,

[A competing technology] uses data from remote controls to follow what a person is watching, then matches that with ratings information and program guides to infer that person’s gender and age. It can use census data or data sources like Experian for further refining. Then, it shows an appropriate commercial.… Eventually … the company will be able to identify who is watching based not just on what they are viewing, but also how they watch it: whether they channel change frequently or not at all, or immediately turn to CNN or to Bravo. That will help it show the right ads in households where multiple people watch television.

Watching me watching you, as the song says.

2 Responses to “TV Ads Just for You”

  1. alex farguson Says:

    Just grabbed the feed… thanks for posting this.

  2. jack parler Says:

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing these tips.