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Time for advertising to call off the dogs

Doc Searls ain't pulling his punches:

Digital advertising needs to sniff its own stench, instead of everybody’s digital butts.

A sample of that stench is wafting through the interwebs from  the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, an ad industry bullphemism for yet another way to excuse the urge to keep tracking people against their wishes (and simple good manners) all over the digital world.

This new thing is a granfalloon conjured by the Association of National Advertisers (aka the ANA) and announced today in the faux-news style of the press release (which it no doubt also is) at the first link above.

Over the last few years I've stepped up my Web hygiene regimen. For starters, I use Firefox with its Containers for the likes of Google and Facebook. Moreover, I have uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger working in tandem to blunt the trackers, and Cookie AutoDelete to sweep away excess cookies.

The major downside of this regimen is that I get nagged a lot more to accept cookies, prove that I'm not a robot, and generally be whined at for valuing my privacy.

So here are some helpful questions from the world’s billions to the brands now paying to have us followed like marked animals:

Have you noticed that not a single brand known to the world has been created by tracking people and aiming ads at them—even after a $trillion or more has been spent on doing that?

Have you noticed that nearly all the world’s major brands became known through advertising that not only didn’t track people, but sponsored journalism as well?

Have you noticed that tracking people and directing personalized messages at them—through “addressable media”—is in fact direct marketing, which we used to call junk mail?

Didn’t think so.

Time to get the clues, ad biz. Brands too.

It's over two decades now since The Cluetrain Manifesto was first published. But adtech not only hasn't understood, it's now trying to strong-arm browser makers into going against the wishes of the users. Because adtech doesn't see us as people, merely products to be sold again and again.

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