Will Arianna Huffington tell Madison Ave. to first serve the Public Interest?

Ms. Huffington will be a keynote speaker at Advertising Age’s “360 degree Media” conference on March 21. The editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post will share the podium that day with Yahoo’s Terry Semel and other marketing executives. We hope Ms. Huffington will warn the online ad industry that its aggressive moves to track all of our digital behaviors– so they can create a variety of desired actions (“conversions”)– raise fundamental questions about privacy. Ms. Hufffington should boldy challenge their plans to manipulate consumers through the “always-on, always-being branded to” interactive media machine that has been developed. Lastly, Ms. Huffington should especially urge advertisers to rein-in messages and campaigns promoting consumption. It’s time advertisers owned up to their own role which contributes to global warming. Ms. Huffington’s Post has a real opportunity to be a model for responsible interactive advertising–where privacy, a “green” ethos,” and a pro-civic engagement commitment–shape the message and the marketing.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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