When "truth in advertising" comes up in conversations, particularly when digital marketing activities are being discussed, the issue of privacy is close behind.
Some might wonder who gave the agency or brand the right to track your movement online, or use your information to "enhance your online experience."
The answer is, you did. The moment you decided to visit that site, click the link, and consume whatever content was provided (for free, of course, because why pay for it?), you (the consumer) and the business entered an implicit contract.
Your information for the brand's content, goods, and services.
In most cases, that is not a bad trade-off.
What if all brands required consumers to read its entire EULA before they could enter their sites? What if there would be a quiz after “reading” the EULA to make sure the consumer really knew what they were agreeing to?
Would consumers appreciate truth in advertising being so thorough? Or would it be annoying and burdensome? The answer is obvious.
Brands and marketers do not need to kowtow to consumers, making their content free regardless of what the consumer does. No, it doesn't work that way. If consumers need to start feeling the pain of paying, then perhaps brands should start showing the real cost of things sooner than later.
The longer AdLand waits, the more it is going to cost the industry.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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