Getting the world to mistake direct marketing for real advertising is one of the great magic tricks of all time: a world record for misdirection in business.
Tracking-based ads, generally called adtech, do not sponsor publications. They use publications as holding pens in which human cattle can be injected with uninvited and unwelcome tracking files (generally called cookies) so their tracked eyeballs can be shot wherever they might show up with ads aimed by whatever surveillance data has been cleaned from those eyeballs’ travels about the Net.
Real advertising—the kind that makes brands and sponsors publications—doesn’t track people. Instead it is addressed to whole populations. In doing so it sponsors those media, and testifies to those media’s native worth. Tracking-based ads can’t and don’t do that.
Source: Doc Searls Weblog · Dear @WashingtonPost