I very much enjoyed this Brief History of B&H Photo which appeared on YouTube the other night. I’ve been a long time customer of theirs and have almost always had excellent experiences. But there’s one creepy footnote to how I came across the ad.

I happened to notice that I was receiving marketing emails from B&H that I just don’t need for shopping there. So, to further declutter my mailbox, I clicked the link from within Gmail to their website.

google is creepy

B&H Photo Unsubscribe Quickly Triggers YouTube Advertisement

Very shortly after, likely within minutes, their cute little video appeared as an advertisement while browsing some YouTube clips.

Because I like B&H so much, I found the video informative and likable. Their use of Google advertising isn’t something I’d hold against them. As for the Google advertising, the creep factor increased another few points.

It’s a good reminder of the dark side of using Google’s web services. We are the product. They are making money off our privacy. It’s not always this obvious.


Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest.

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