Housewife From [your town] Loses 47 Pounds!!

Geo Targeting is the method of determining the location of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on that location. Today I saw an ad the headline of which was “Housewife From [location of my ISP] Loses 47 Pounds Drinking Acai Berry Juice!” and the copy of which referred to ‘Jane Doe From [my location] . . ‘ If Jane Doe doesn’t live in my town, then that is a literally false statement. 43(a)? Is it material? I don’t know, but why do they rig the ad this way?

One response to “Housewife From [your town] Loses 47 Pounds!!”

  1. TimXCampbell says:

    I have been searching the net to find out how many people are discussing these geotargeted ads. I’m surprised to find that there isn’t that much discussion. The falsity of the ads is an open-and-shut case if (like me) you live in a remote rural area. I am being asked to believe that local housewives are discovering miracles and legal work-arounds every other day!

    Surely it wouldn’t be hard for the FTC to identify and prosecute such offenses, but … does the FTC actually do this kind of detective work? I don’t know. I do know that I recently became so offended after seeing the 1000th (more or less) such ad that I located the originator’s Wikipedia article and checked it for accuracy. Lo and behold, it wasn’t entirely accurate. Indeed, the company it profiled sounded wonderful! So I updated it to include their recent $2 million settlement with the FTC.

    It’s probably a futile gesture on my part, but I react negatively when lying is automated in this way.