Peer-to-peer advertising offers new opportunities for manipulation


Cookies and other tracking mechanisms are enabling advertisers to manipulate consumers in new ways. For $29, The Spinner will provide a seemingly innocent link containing an embedded cookie that will allow the buyer to deliver targeted content to their chosen recipient. The service advertises packages aimed at men seeking to influence their partners to initiate sex, people trying to encourage disliked colleagues to seek new jobs, and teens trying to get their parents to get a dog. However, packages aimed to get a friend or relative to quit smoking or to get a partner to propose have not found success. Two months after launch, 5,000 people had used the service. Marketing head Elliott Shefler notes that The Spinner's terms of service say EU and UK users are not permitted to use or be targeted by it, because of GDPR.
writer: Lou Stoppard
publication: Financial Times

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