Cookies and Clutter

I would like to propose an equation for your review...

Advertising - Cookies = Clutter

If you read my column regularly, you'll note that one of my favorite topics of discussion is clutter. Our world is becoming increasingly cluttered and it's only going to get worse. The more the consumer becomes immunized and unresponsive to established forms of advertising, the more we find innovative, ingenious ways to speak to them and convey the messages of our brands. Hopefully these messages are targeted to the consumers we want to speak to and we avoid disturbing those consumers who show no interest.

The current discussion around cookie deletion is frightening because the press has latched on to the idea that cookies are bad. The press is spreading the idea that cookies should be lumped in with spyware and spam and are used to take advantage of the consumer. But this couldn't be further from the truth. When the press addresses this issue in this manner, it creates fear in the mind of the consumer and fear is a very powerful force. The truth is that without cookies and other methods of counting or measuring the consumer, the landscape would be worse and advertising would even further annoy consumers. Without cookies, we would be unable to target the user with messages that are more likely to be relevant to them. In a world without counting and measurement, every woman would be inundated with Viagra ads and every man with ads for Midol.



This week we launched Safecount, a volunteer effort from professionals in the industry, which will provide a public forum to discuss this very topic.

If you get a moment, check out Safecount is looking to gather support and raise awareness in the public consciousness that cookies are not to be lumped in with spyware and spam. Safecount will not promote one method over another, but will push for safe counting mechanisms that are safe for the consumer and safe for the advertiser. We recognize that the consumer can feel overwhelmed by marketing and the result of this feeling is a slowly growing technical arms race over advertising and data collection. This arms race could result in the removal of these counting mechanisms, which would severely affect ecommerce, diminish the user experience with the Internet, and creep into the rest of the landscape as all media is quickly transitioning into digital formats. This is a topic we need to address now and set a precedent before things get worse.

If you're reading this article, you need to be involved. Visit Safecount and find out what other people are saying about the issue. Sign up for the online petition and show your support for addressing this topic publicly. If you speak to the press or you speak to anyone involved in the various legislative actions to place parameters around counting mechanisms in advertising, convey this message and help us come to a reasonable solution that will work for all parties involved.

We look forward to your support!

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