Ganging up on the ad gorillas

It can feel a little Big Brother-ish when you’ve just been browsing online for flights to Miami, then head over to an unrelated website and an ad pops up for “Cheap Florida Getaways.” The online-ad industry, however, is banking on the fact you’d rather see an ad for something in which you’re interested, even if it means companies have extensive data on your surfing habits. So are venture capitalists, who since 2007 have invested US$4.7 billion in 356 online-ad firms according to Dow Jones VentureSource, a research firm owned by News Corp. Continue reading...