Saturday, April 18, 2009

Home Advertising

The trend of the future is apparently home-advertising as in allowing ads to be posted in your living space in return for free rent or WiFi. It does not seem like such a terrible idea at first blush - we already have cable television and on-line ads in our personal space.

I like to believe that I am pretty resistant to any and all manner of inducement to buy something. Unless I want it, I simply don't buy it. Period. That said, I have not had a Cola-Cola ad beamed in my kitchen on a hot summer afternoon to really test my resolve. But it is the more futuristic ambitions of this form of ad-encroachment that is worrisome. The author writes :

Three sleepless nights would lead to ads for insomnia remedies flashing through the hallway. Persistent raids on the fridge would drive promos for snacks or weight-loss centers.

While I like millions of others, have traded my "privacy" for the preferred customer cards that most grocery stores require to avail their specials, I guess I would draw a line at being monitored and targeted for ads based on activities inside my own home. The insomnia remedy and weight-loss suggestions seem harmless when you consider some of the other possibilities.

But given the right inducement, people might just succumb to bringing ads into their home, submit to being monitored and profiled so they can be coaxed to buy goods and services. In the end it is about the what the individual needs to give up their privacy and also if they have comfort in numbers - when enough people sign for such a thing, the chances of any one person feeling weired out are greatly minimized. A combination of factors could determine the tipping point - how enticing the compensation for giving up your privacy is and how many people allow themselves to be targets of this kind of advertising.

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