The Public's Takeover of Advertising Is Inevitable

Right now the existing system of advertising does not work for millions of small and micro businesses. Yet, as defectives as it is, businesses in the US spend between $100 and $200 billion dollars a year for advertising. Advertising also leaves the ad recipient feeling intruded upon, annoyed and overwhelmed due to a barrage of irrelevant and untimely messages. So neither side is getting what they want. This creates a huge opportunity for someone to do it better.

At Cotonomy, we believe the public who is advertised to is the only group who can make advertising work for businesses of any size while also serving the public’s needs.

Why The Public Can Do it Better

To make advertising better it must become dramatically more relevant, significantly less intrusive and something people want to see. In other words, a commercial break needs to stop being the moment we all choose to walk away or tune out. Let’s compare whether advertising under the public’s control using Cotonomy could offer a better solution than current methods.

Advertising Today: They put hundreds or thousands of ads in front of every person, every day during all aspects of their life. Then expect at least a couple of these ads to be relevant to someone. To avoid compensating people for their data and attention, they build technology and tracking software to just take it. They also use schemes of offering “free” tools for searching the web or socializing with friends or watching videos so they can collect our data and attention for free. They do this so they and their shareholders can become rich by selling to businesses advertising space that very few people will ever take the time to see.

Cotonomy: Ask people to share what they are interested in so ads can be shown for the right products and services to the right people. Respect that no one knows what they want or need better than the person receiving the ad. Compensate people for their willingness to share this information so they have an incentive for taking the time to share. By asking and compensating people, it builds a partnership with those who have the greatest knowledge and power to create relevancy.

Is there any doubt that the public could create a more relevant ad experience than the advertising methods offered today? When the public is treated as partners they are more motivated to ensure greater relevancy so the service and partnership succeeds.

The next issue is to make sure ads receive the appropriate attention from the people receiving them and for the businesses paying for them. Again, let’s compare the two approaches.

Advertising Today: They attract people by offering them some interesting content to enjoy and then interrupt that experience as frequently as possible with ads. To compensate for our limited attention they make up for it with the volume and frequency of interruptions. Metaphorically their goal is to keep your head locked in their grasp so no matter how you try and avoid them the fire hose of ads prevents you from turning away. As they keep pumping the ads, the profits continue to rise for shareholders of these advertising companies.

Cotonomy: People who receive ads are the most qualified for picking the best time to view them. Instead of ads being an active or passive interruption that conditions people to ignore them, trust people will view ads when they are able to give them their attention. Compensate people for using their time and attention to view ads. Paying for access and attention is something people and businesses pay for everyday. Now businesses are able to buy a finer quality of access and attention directly from the people most qualified to deliver it.

The Choice is the Public’s

The public is uniquely qualified to take control of one of the most powerful industries on the planet and each year divide up hundreds of billions of dollars for their work. They can turn advertising from a force currently destroying personal privacy and limiting choice to one that puts them in charge of their privacy while helping millions of small and micro businesses compete. Cotonomy’s goal is to help facilitate the public’s takeover of advertising. This action gives the public greater power to align our economy with its values and priorities. It also demonstrates a new way for the public to compete with corporations so they can financially capture the wealth that comes from offering a solution. This lays the foundation for broader distribution of wealth while maintaining the positive side of market competition.