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Back in the 90s, when the internet was taking off and the world seemed to be on the cusp of breaking into a new era that didn't involve half of the planet being broke all the time and sudden 99% riots taking over the world, I was very exited abut ... web advertising.

Oh, don't get me wrong, was tres unhappy with doing the banners that I had to do instead of those posters that got everyones (read: Cannes jurors) attention. But then I saw what was happening, the web became a part of everyones lives and thus a media as large as any old school cinema Pearl and Dean cinema advert. Great ideas are everywhere, all we have is the space to execute them in. That's when I began fighting in the comments and talk-backs of columns about email-marketing, alerting people that unchecked, spam could kill email as a communication media itself (adformatie: 1997). I hoped for regulation, the lack of it made spam proliferate, and we all read tweets and facebook message instead these days, don't we? Not that I'm saying I told you so.

I was hoping that the world with data-points filled bothh online (google & various social media) and offline (Visa, Amex and various other cards) would finally learn how to target advertising to finally hit me, so that I would actually get a reccommendation for a good cigar, despite being a white woman of the wrong age. Of course that never happened. "Whenever I am in a hotel and charged on my card, I order the porn film, just to mess with the data" said a man from the Chaos Computer club at HIP 1997 to a tent full of giggly geeks. His point though, that his data should be random, was made despite the terrible example.

Things evolved very fast, soon we had cell-phones that could WAP and then smart phones that could talk, and now the entire world is giving everything they own - data-wise, mind you - to Google. While so many people around the world have been worrying about privacy and who owns your data, people have forgotten to notice who owns the new media.

Cliff notes: It's Google. Remember? That search engine that already had a cult following on Metafilter in 1999. Everyone loves Google because they are "not evil" and have a daycare center. Unlike Altavista and Scooter, they had no terrible banner ads... Yet.

Google is today the largest advertising company in the world, having almost pioneered RSS ads (but you coul donly use adsense RSS if you were ,

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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