LinkedIn Ad Casts Me As Google Employee

by Chris Silver Smith

LinkedIn’s ads which autopopulate people’s profile information into the ad can be jarring. Here’s one which gave me a shudder — it portrays me as a Googler!

Personalized Ad on LinkedIn

I don’t see myself as an employee of a huge, publicly-traded company since I was with Verizon years ago, so the ad was pretty disturbing to me! I just wasn’t ready to see that! It’s possible that I could be persuaded to work as a large company executive, perhaps, but the incentive would have to be pretty substantial — self employment is just so rewarding in so many ways that it’s hard to beat.

Ads which auto-populate information have been around quite some time, of course — for instance, ads which parse users’ keyword queries into the ad copy and display it on ad search results pages. Those sometimes have funny, unintentional ads in certain cases.

Ads with one’s personal information are becoming more and more common, however. Isn’t there some level of consumer dislike of these ads? Facebook is perhaps the leader at this sort of thing, coopting your face and name into ads which are sent to your own friends to promote stuff. It’s a form of copyright infringement and trademark infringement (in some cases), yet it continues, perhaps it’s even something we unintentionally allowed under Facebook’s terms and conditions?


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2 Responses to “LinkedIn Ad Casts Me As Google Employee”

  1. Chris Irby says:

    Oops! I’d be curious to know what info LinkedIn misread that led to this particularly conclusion jumping.

    I remember when Facebook was still new and exciting, and the personal information ads were in their infancy stage. One banner ad proudly proclaimed, “Chris Irby! One of your Facebook friends has a secret crush on you! Find out who!” Underneath the text were portraits of several female Facebook connections. The disturbing part is that one of them was my mom 🙁

  2. I think one reason LinkedIn did it was because I have a few Google employees in my connections list, and I was on one of their profile pages. I don’t think LinkedIn misread anything — I think they provide ad options like this, and Google had set one up to attract potential employees. I can imagine Google thinking that business connections and friends of existing employees might make for more good employees.