Advertising won’t go away, but the cancer of adtech will.

Advertising will be cured of adtech by two forms of chemo, one applied by people and the other by brands. People blocking ads now number in the hundreds of millions. And now brands in droves are starting to pull the plug as well.

With adtech out of the way, advertising can indeed do right again, by brands and by everybody else.

There is also reason for optimism about advertising the way it ought to be done. Here’s what I said about that in the “So, then” summary of my first chapter on advertising in The Intention Economy:

When the backlash is over, and the advertising bubble deflates, advertising will remain an enormous and useful business. We will still need advertising to do what only it can do. What will emerge, however, is a market for what advertising can’t do. This new market will be defined by what customers actually want, rather than guesses about it.

I wrote that in 2012. Perhaps in 2017 it will finally come true.

Written by

Author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Fellow of CITS at UCSB, alumnus Fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.

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