Do you notice when you search for a new pair of shoes, an Ipod, or a piece of clothing that all of a sudden every digital ad you come across is that product or others which are very similar? This is one of the primary issues of media for the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD). Their mission is to help protect consumers from an internet experienced which is "largely shaped to help advertisers." The online advertising industry is a booming industry which was worth 24 billion (yes folks BILLION) dollars in 2008 and had a projected increase to 100 billion dollars by 2011.
Why does any of this matter; we can all ignore ads right? The CDD is not concerned with the ads themselves or even the fact that the industry is corporate and ad driven as opposed to consumer driven; what matters to the CDD is the awareness of the consumer. They strive to "keep consumers informed and the corporate ad industry accountable."
Is this an issue does it really matter that we have someone shadowing our every move on the internet, what are the consequences of a culture and ad-based internet? These questions loom large in our new share-everything mediated society. This issue of being shadowed has the negatives of the idea of "Big Brother;" a system where every move you make is monitored. It also has its positives of convenience and economic profit; if it finds a product you like and can display it in an easy click add that makes everyone's life a little easier.
I believe the CDD's action is the proper action to be taken against this "issue" (notice the "" because I do not believe everyone believes this to be a problem); and that is to continue to inform consumers while holding this big ad agencies and big business accountable for what they are placing on the internet. A world without these ads would be so foreign to us that demolishing them entirely would be alien, but at the same time they need to be held accountable to ensure that commercialism does not get out of control in this precarious media teeter-totter.