You are what you are adserved.

We all know that a postcode can seriously affect the price of property.  Proximity to a good state school means some postcodes have seriously inflated prices.


We know too about the various “postcode lotteries”, which can influence health and of course likelihood to be a crime victim.  If you live on the “wrong” side of the Finchley Road you can wipe a million quid off the value of a property that looks identical to one on the “right” side.


The visibility of the postcode makes a big difference to those with status anxiety which leads some to lobby furiously for change.  One group living in Windsor and Maidenhead are petitioning to swap the SL in their postcodes for WM in order to distance themselves from any association with Slough.


According to residents of Whitton, a town in the leafy and affluent borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames, are angry that their TW3 postcode classes them in the neighbouring, more deprived borough of Hounslow.


They say that this affects everything from house prices to insurance premiums and have petitioned the Royal Mail to change it.


Kim Tasso, 53, said: “My daughter goes to a Richmond school, we pay council tax to Richmond council, the police consider us a Richmond address, yet when I put ‘Whitton’ as my address my post arrives  two days late, with ‘Whitton’ crossed out by the Post Office and ‘Hounslow’ written in its place…..Either we should be called Hounslow and pay our rates to Hounslow borough council, or keep paying the higher Richmond rates and be able to call ourselves Richmond.”


Can you imagine the uproar in the area once those residents are shown different TV adverts to the people living in Richmond too?  New targeting systems will allow different copy to run in different households depending on their socio-economic data based on real purchase habits.  Should one share a postcode with people who buy a lot of samphire for instance, one can expect a different class of copy from those who share a postcode with people who sustain themselves with pop tarts and pot noodles.


We must applaud the potential for better targeting effectiveness, less wastage and the ability to encourage new brands onto TV that these targeting systems will provide.


This targeted approach on TV will concern people more, once it takes hold, than similar targeting that already exists in other media.  No-one takes the ads they get served online too seriously.  If we notice erectile dysfunction ads or the ladies equivalent of drastic cosmetic surgery we can laugh them off.


Outdoor doesn’t ghettoise you either as any local targeting is offset by travel catchment areas and commuter routes which means that quite downbeat areas are graced by huge posters targeted at commuters sweeping through in limousines.


Ads on TV are another thing again.  Which kinds of ads you see on TV will become a talking point, from stand up comedians to school gate chatter.


SL postcode deniers will have a new worry – what TV ads they see.  Could the presence of, or lack of an advert featuring Heston lead to swings in house prices?  In the future, you are what you are ad served.



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