I was just reading an article by Jack Neff of AdAge covering P&G “Digital Guru” Ted McConnell. Ted believes that Social Networks like Facebook may never be able to show the ROI on Ad dollars marketers spend on their websites. The article quotes Ted as saying about consumer-generated Media “Who said this is media? Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren’t trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody. So it just seems a bit arrogant. … We hijack their own conversations, their own thoughts and feelings, and try to monetize it.” I am not sure if someone rewrote the English language dictionary but last time I checked Media is defined as “means of mass communication” and with a Reach of 12% of global internet users according to Alexa, Facebook certainly fits that bill. Now is it a good medium for advertising, that’s a whole another thing. Ted also raises concerns about the type of targeting afforded by Facebook, but that’s a fallout of the Information Age. There was a lot of hue and cry about using Credit Bureau data for marketing, a few regulations later that is still an industry. Ted makes a good point about reach fragmentation though- there’s just way too much people do online to effectively reach them with any decent amount of banner ads. On the other hand as technology advances the ability of online advertisers to track a target through their internet trail and persevering until a conversion is obtained isn’t that difficult. Already re-targeters are identifying unique users and repeatedly hitting them with ads- check this article.