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I have been happily reading your posts about TED2006 when I realized there´s absolutely no speaker from Latin America. Or Africa (the "Children of Uganda" didn´t say anything, did them?). This is so sad and arrogant. And "old minded". It doesn´t really count as a trend/future prediction, does it? I mean, if we are not included. If half the world is not allowed to speak, what you are doing is meaningless. Sad sad sad - and very disappointing.

Isn't all broadcast, untargeted, mass marketing communication spam?

Definitions of spam on the Web:

* To indiscriminately send unsolicited, unwanted, irrelevant, or inappropriate messages, especially commercial advertising in mass quantities.

Interruption sputters and dies in a digital age. The connected generation simply won't accept it.

I think this is a targeting issue.

For example that phone box http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2005/12/phone_party.html you saw Russell could easily be classed as urban spam, but because it hit the right buttons and presumably was targeted at men your age, your class, with your interests etc you liked it. Because the Motorola thing http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2006/03/urban_spam.html wasn’t aimed at you (or was but was executed in the wrong way) you hated it.

The phone box also works a lot harder to thank you for the interruption, the coffee cup sleeve couldn’t really be arsed.

PS Hello Faris!

I think it's more than targeting. It's also about custom and respect.

I'm used to seeing ads in the centre break of Cori. I don't mind them there. It's OK. It's not even that interuptive. I actually like them in The Simpsons. Have you tried to watch The Simpsons on DVD? They're such tight three act structures that the lack of ads seems to spoil the pace.

And if they're no good, I don't mind, it doesn't bother me that much, because I'm not expecting much. I'll just make my cup of tea. I'm accustomed to that kind of relationship with the ads.

But if something turns up somewhere new and deliberately intrusive then it's got to be damn good to get through my annoyance barrier. It's got to be respectful. It's got to get the annoyance/entertainment balance right.

There is definitely an argument that relevance makes interruptive ads less annoying but the move towards new and unusual 'media' opportunities in an attempt to break through the clutter pushes some weird buttons. I can appreciate the attempt to think outside the norm in some ways but as you say, the very disruption is a function of not being accustomed to having commercials in these spaces.

Increasingly I'm starting to think that there needs to an equitable value exchange built into the communication itself. As you point out, your cup of coffee is no cheaper, there is no enhanced experience for the end user.

So the question perhaps need to be not what new space can we co-opt, what moments can we target, but what is the end user benefit, not just the message, that this brand is delivering through its communication?

Ps. Hey Ben!

I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some online research. I'm not absolutely sure what is meant by the term "urban spam," but I think it may come down to that old adage: one man's trash (or spam, as the case may be) is another man's treasure.

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