October 11th, 2013
Google's New Ad Star: You
By Rolfe Winkler, Geoffrey A. Fowler and Evelyn M. Rusli
Wall Street Journal
Search Giant Soon Will Have Names, Photos Pitching Products Across Its Sites
Google Inc. plans to make its users the stars of advertisements—without first asking for permission. The move encourages word-of-mouth marketing but is bound to raise privacy alarms.
The search giant on Friday alerted users in a bright blue warning across its home page that, beginning Nov. 11, it may display their names, profile photos, ratings and reviews in ads as part of what it is calling “shared endorsements.”
Users age 18 or over could now see themselves pitching their favorite smartphone, say, or recommending an Italian restaurant across Google’s stable of sites including in its search results. The company didn’t specify whether user information would be included in ads Google places on third-party sites.