Behavioral targeting – or racial profiling? Marketers are testing billboards with tiny cameras that use software to determine that a person is standing in front of a billboard. Then the program analyzes the viewer’s facial features (like cheekbone height and the distance between the nose and the chin) to judge the person’s gender and age. Once the software categorizes the passerby, it selects an advertisement tailored to this profile – an Hispanic teenager for example sees a different message than the middle-aged Asian woman who walks behind him.
How far should marketers go to customize the messages they send us?
Adapted from Michael R. Solomon, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being 9th ed, Prentice Hall, to be published January 2010: