We know the folks at Viacom and CBS know a great deal about digital marketing. The new overhaul of the CNET site, which CBS acquired last June, includes behavioral targeting in the redesign. CNET now–“[B]ased on what users are searching for, manufacturers will be able to connect with them… within the comparison shopping process. In addition to its traditional focus on tech products, CNET is adding appliance and kitchen gadget reviews, covering such products as built-in ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, small appliances, stoves and ranges, and washers and dryers.”
Of course, we hardly don’t know any media outlet that isn’t using some form of behavioral targeting and other interactive marketing techniques. But what’s generally missing is real disclosure to users and their ability to determine what is collected and by what methods. And while online advertising is the key business model for the future of online publishing, the rush to embrace of behavioral targeting by news organizations raises a number of disturbing questions. It’s an issue we will cover.
source: CNET.com undergoes major revamp. btobonline.com. August 28, 2008