Friday, 3 August 2007

Microsoft barking up wrong tree for TV advertising

Microsoft has applied for a patent that it plans to use to help TV advertisers provide more targeted adverts by placing a camera that sits on top of a TV. It would be able to detect the presence of a person and maybe even identify them.

There’s no doubt that TV needs to look at its advertising model very seriously, as the way in which people consume television is changing rapidly. But we’re not convinced that people would welcome the presence of a camera like this in their homes.

However, we do support moves to look at alternative revenue streams within TV advertising. One option is using the user interface, or menu, to host advertisements. However people consume TV – via mobile, downloaded from the internet, pre-recorded using Sky Plus or an equivalent system, or the plain old fashioned front room / sofa way – there will always be a menu used to navigate through the choices. As TV schedules get more personalised, it stands to reason that menus will do so as well, so what is there to prevent targeted advertising around those menus?

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