Don Marti

Wed 15 Mar 2006 08:30:26 PM PST

Classes of advertising

Just thinking about the problem of matching up buyers and sellers (having read Doc's The Intention Economy) and it seems like it's a mistake to lump all advertising together. Why not treat advertising that gives differently from advertising that takes?

Class A: some of what the advertiser pays goes to pay for something that's valuable to the audience: magazine ads, Google AdWords.

Class B: the advertising pays its own way, but doesn't fund something of value to the audience: direct mail, billboard on private property.

Class C: the advertising imposes costs on the audience: email spam, vandalism such as spray-painting sidewalks and putting up "vertical litter" signs.

As a potential customer, when I see class C, I'll do my best to block it, and class B I mostly ignore, but put up some Class A and you're starting off with the message that you're funding something I want to read, and that's a good start.