Variety’s Bart: TV Ad Targeting Knows I’m Old

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March 24, 2011 – 8:04 am

VarietyVariety editorial director Peter Bart has one of the most original rants against the notion of set-top box ad targeting: Cablevision can access his drug prescriptions and target TV ads tailored to his pharmceutical needs. And as an aging baby boomer, he's feeling a bit more exposed than he'd like to be.

He points to an "inverse ageism" that has crept TV and movie casting, suggesting that data has led marketers and the entertainment industry to cater more to the Viagra-Demo. But didn't the cultural mandarins previously complain about the overwhelming power of the youth culture? Isn't it a good thing that a movie like "The Kings Speech" (a movie about two older guys talking) has become such a hit? Doesn't it say something positive about the media landscape dotted with aging stars like Tom Sellack and Steven Tyler. (Sorry, you prefer a world of only Justin Biebers?)

It seems that Bart's complaint about targeting is really just a mask for his being constantly reminded of his age. Still, all Bart would seemingly have to do would be to get some younger habits and he could once again be 29, when addressable TV was only found in the science fiction movies being advertised on Variety's pages.

By James Bailey


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March 24, 2011 – 8:04 am

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