Randall Rothenberg of the Interactive Advertising Bureau lobbying group wrote a commentary where he made a number of misleading statements. He incorrectly characterized the work of Professor Joseph Turow. Prof. Turow, a leading academic expert of the online marketing industry, is on the faculty of the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Here is Professor Turow’s response:
“In one sentence, Mr Rothenberg manages to make two fundamental misrepresentations. What I really say on page 2 of my 2006 book Niche Envy (where the quote originates) explicitly relates to marketers use of surveillance technologies without consumers understanding: “Over the long haul, however, this intersection of large selling organizations and new surveillance technologies seems sure to encourage a particularly corrosive form of personal and social tension.” Nor do I anywhere lament the passage of the three network universe. For example, I explicitly state in Breaking Up (on page 199, for example) that three network era had its own forms of social exclusions and state that “that “the proper response to this hypersegmentation of America is not to urge a return to the mass-market world of the 1960s and 1970s.” My conclusion: when I see Mr Rothenberg quote someone I will be sure to check the source to make sure the passage has not been wrenched from its context. I should add, too, that I accept the need that digital interactive media have for target marketing and database marketing. But there are many creative ways to meld data analytics and their implementation with openness and public engagement. I fear that Mr Rothenberg”s policies and writings indicate he will lead this important organization in directions that are misguided for marketers and for society.