If I hadn't just read up on it, I would have thought this was a "Saturday Night Live" parody.
But, Jetera Precision Media, a Danbury, Conn., company owned by Venture Capital and Consulting Group and with former Southwest Airlines CEO Jim Parker on the board, just put into production an ad delivery and targetting system that combines reservations data about travelers' intent with publicly available information about individual passengers to serve up ads tailored to that passenger on seat-back TV systems.
It is unclear at this point which specific companies are selling Jetera their reservations data.
But, here's how it works. In a FAQ on its website, Jetera explains: "The reservation information comes from any one of the multiple travel e-commerce sites, hotel and airline reservation systems. Then by partnering with some of the largest publicly available consumer data companies in the world we enrich that reservation data. The result is that we can then ultimately offer, for the first time, marketers and brands an unmatched level of relevancy, timeliness and action-ability."
It looks like the reservations data would be coming from "Airlines, Global distribution systems (GDS), Large Travel Companies, Hotels and Vacation Ownership Companies, Rental Car Firms, [and] Cruise Ships" because Jetera aims to partner with these travel suppliers and distributors in addition to marketers and advertising partners.
As I wrote yesterday and March 24 in the Dennis Schaal Blog, and recently in Travel Weekly, Expedia, Google, BlueKai, and others with travel industry ties are working hard to further commoditize travelers' reservation data to deliver targetted ads to you when you surf the Web and now, it turns out, some marketers will be going after you in your aisle or window seat, too.
It's all to the advantage of the traveler, goes the refrain. Marketers are telling travelers that advertisers are almost providing passengers with a public service when those ads for cellphones or credit cards bombard you during your travels.
And, oh, "Yes," Jetera explains, "passengers will be in complete control and have multiple opportunities to opt out should they choose to do so."
It sounds to me as if such behavioral advertising may become so omnipresent that efforts to opt out could become a full-time job.