Turow Contributes to Pew Excellence in Journalism Report on Digital Advertising

Annenberg’s Joseph Turow, Ph.D., the Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication, has contributed to a Pew Excellence in Journalism report on digital advertising. The report, “Digital Advertising and News,” notes the reluctance of the news media’s so-called “legacy” advertisers (finance, consumer goods, for example) to full utilize targeted advertising tools.   

Digital advertising technology can enable the delivery of online, customized advertisements that match an individual’s recent web browsing activities. Yet legacy advertisers have done little to move beyond the traditional banner-style web advertisement. Only three of the 22 news operations studied in the report showed any inclination toward using this type of advertising sophistication. This is in spite of the fact that digital advertising will grow by 40 percent between now and the year 2015, eventually overtaking all other marketing platforms.  

Turow has researched and written extensively about digital advertising tools. His current book, The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth (Yale University Press, 2011) examines the degree to which savvy digital advertisers can draw a detailed picture of someone based on an individual’s web browsing.  

“Figuring out what [legacy advertisers] are doing and why might be the first step in getting them back,” says Turow.   The Pew report includes a five-page primer written by Turow, on buying digital advertising.