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While teaching a group of marketing students today, we got talking about Google’s Adsense system, which, I have to say, I think is brilliant.  It really is a genial system, and it is no wonder that Google makes a bomb from it.  I have to admit to clicking on Adsense text ads from time to time, not on my own sites, I hasten to add (Although, I was sorely tempted the other evening, and it was very difficult to resist the temptation!  But resist I did.).  The ads are so darned well targeted and linked to content that they provide a type of information service, and sometimes the ads are for services that are potentially very interesting.

Not that I want to encourage people to hop over to my sites and go on a clicking frenzy, because that would get me into trouble, and I would risk no longer being able to use the system.   And this would not make me happy.

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I do not, as a general rule, like advertising, but Adsense is different.  It is not invasive and it often complements websites.  Yes, I know ads are meant to encourage us to buy things, but sometimes we do need to, and some things can actually help us to live and work better.  And if you do buy things, you are helping a company make money, and keeping someone in a job.

I suppose the ads that bug me the most are the TV ads, which are not, for the moment, targeted, and so seem to be an invasive nuisance.  I rarely see ads for things that interest me on the TV, whereas I do quite often see ads that catch my attention on the www.  For this reason, it is no wonder that on-line advertising is a fast growing industry, and if you can come to terms with the mind manipulation aspects, you have got to admire how clever these systems are.

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