As you may know, Google bought YouTube some years ago, meaning that the ads on YouTube are Google ads. And yes, we’re all irritated by those pesky video ads that delay us getting to that amazing cover version of a pop song, the hilarious epic fail video we wanted to see, the adorable animal video that brightens our day or that fascinating TED talk we heard about from a friend. It’s one of those frustrations that are a normal part of the digital age.
But it is not the usual ad-related irritation that I speak of.
I’m taking aim at targeted advertising. You know the kind of thing that takes that endless list of info gleamed from your accounts and turns it into advertising specifically for you. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that in general – frankly, anything that prevents me watching ads for creepy horror movies is a welcome idea. The reality however isn’t the steady stream of superhero movies, awesome books and home decor ideas that I wish it was.
Why? Because apparently all Google knows about me is that I’m a woman in the 25-35 year old age bracket. Despite my relief that Google seems to know somewhat less about me than I thought, what this means is that I get bombarded with ads for pregnancy tests.
Evidently, if I’m in the aforementioned age bracket, the only thing I can or indeed should be thinking about is having babies.
No. Just no.
I hate being reduced to nothing more than a womb and a biological clock. Many women my age might in fact be thinking about starting a family and I respect and admire them (it’s a tough job that never ends and anyone should be commended for assuming such a huge responsibility), but do we seriously have to limit our perception of women’s interests to a single topic? Does the world really think I’m only interested in babies? I love babies (truly – if my siblings are reading, take note that I want nieces and nephews at some point) but I also love books, food, music, theatre, movies, art, languages, board games, home decor, clothing, travel, comedy…. I could go on but you get the idea.
I pride myself on being a multi-faceted person. I’d appreciate if Google would do a better job of reflecting that in their advertising. And I know that Google has very little to go on, but surely there’s more to a woman (any woman… Every woman) of child-bearing age than her capacity to reproduce? Trust me, there is. Get it together Google. I and others like me deserve better.