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Mapping Online Advertising: From Anxiety to Method

Mapping Online Advertising: From Anxiety to Method

Fernando Bermejo, Berkman Fellow

Tuesday, January 12, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor

RSVP required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.

Advertising pays for a significant portion of online content and services. But in contrast to other forms of content and service provision, it expects a return on investment despite not being backed by any kind of legal structure or binding agreement. This need for unguaranteed returns generates anxiety on the part of the advertising industry. And it tries to reduce this anxiety by controlling the exchange process from beginning to end through a methodical use of information. This control process involves implementing mechanisms for data collection, devising targeting strategies, structuring price models, establishing standardized metrics, and funneling users to purchases.

While in legacy media the structure of the advertising process and the methods used to reduce advertisers’ anxiety were clearly delineated, the online advertising landscape shows a much more complex structure and a constant process of adaptation to the peculiarities of the online environment. Likewise, while the influence of advertising in the mass media environment has been widely debated, much less has been discussed about the repercussion of online advertising. This talk attempts to draw a map of online advertising, explain its anxiety reduction methods, and explore the consequences of the use of those methods on the ecology of online communication.

About Fernando

Fernando Bermejo is Associate Professor of Communication at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. He has also taught at IE University, University of Syracuse in Madrid, and Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. He received his Ph.D. in Communication from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and his M.A. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of "The Internet Audience: Constitution & Measurement" (Peter Lang, 2007) and editor of "On Communicating: Otherness, Meaning, and Information" (Routledge, 2009). Before joining Universidad Rey Juan Carlos he was Senior Analyst at Internet Research Group LLC, and Research Analyst at CDNOW Inc.

His research at Berkman focuses on the evolution of the different forms of online advertising and on the process of commercialization of interactivity. He is particularly interested in the different techniques and technologies used to collect data on online audiences and users in order to target ads; and in the economic, legal, and social consequences of their implementation.


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Past Event
Jan 12, 2010
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM