Advertising is the latest weapon in Amazon’s bid for world …

It’s said that if you receive a service for free, you are not the customer but the product. The truism originated in the early 1970s, when the advent of mass-market media led to a proliferation in television advertising. But it’s more relevant than ever today, with social media soaking up so many of the hours we used to spend gawping at the small screen.

More than two billion people log on to Facebook at least once a month; in return for sharing holiday snaps with friends, they are deluged with personalised adverts based on their age, gender, race and online behaviour. Some may consider this a faustian bargain; most appear willing to trade private information for a free Facebook account.

How, then, do you explain…

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