This book is about the way the advertising industry has been fragmenting America and what that may mean for the media and society. The advertiser's aim has been to package individuals, or groups of people, in ways that make them useful targets. But the ad industry's vision of America is one of a fractured population of self-indulgent, suspicious ...
This book is about the way the advertising industry has been fragmenting America and what that may mean for the media and society. The advertiser's aim has been to package individuals, or groups of people, in ways that make them useful targets. But the ad industry's vision of America is one of a fractured population of self-indulgent, suspicious individuals who reach out only to people like themselves, and the ads it creates both reflect and promote this view. Combining shrewd analysis of contemporary practices with a historical perspective, Turow traces the momentous shift that began in the mid-'70s, when advertisers rejected mass marketing in favor of ever more aggressive target marketing. It is a strategy that includes all marketing vehicles, from cable TV to catalogs, direct mail to radio, newspapers to supermarket promotions. Turow shows how advertisers exploit differences between consumers based on income, age, gender, race, marital status, ethnicity, and lifestyles. With increased technology, advertising can easily enter individuals' private spaces -- their homes, cars, and offices -- with news, entertainment, and commercial messages aimed specifically at them. As the major support system of American media, the ad industry has encouraged market segmentation and the creation of customized media. Ultimately, Turow predicts this trend will cause an erosion of tolerance and cooperation within U.S. society.
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