Ad Agencies Expand the role of Neuromarketing: Time for EU and US Regulation

The continued growth of neuromarketing to create advertising messages that are crafted to target a consumer (and citizen) subconscious mind should be a top policymaker concern–and we have raised this with both the FTC and EU.  Here’s an excerpt from a recent major marketing company’s plans to expand its neuroscience based efforts:

Millward Brown has tasked its head of innovations Graham Page with setting up a neuroscience division with the goal of supplementing its existing advertising research offer with techniques that aim to uncover the inner workings of the human mind.

Page, who takes the role of executive vice president of consumer neuroscience, said the agency was banking on the division as being one of its big growth areas this year.

Advertisers, he said, were becoming more receptive to approaches like electroencephalography (EEG) brainwave measurement, eye tracking and implicit association tests – all of which will be rolled out across Millward Brown globally in the coming weeks and months.

Page said the company had been experimenting with neuroscience techniques for six years, but the creation of a dedicated division marked “an important milestone”, while the research approaches themselves promised “a different perspective” on how consumers respond to advertising and brand communications… Page said some 60 projects had already been completed across the US, UK and Europe, with clients including Panasonic, Kraft and Royal Mail.Partner companies include EmSense, which supplies Millward Brown with the EEG equipment used to record consumer brain activity.

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.

Leave a Reply