Ghostery and Evidon Part II

In my last post I talked about the lack of clarity regarding the relationship between Ghostery and its parent company Evidon. After its publication I was contacted by a representative of Wit Strategy, a PR firm in Evidon’s employ.

In the email, the Wit Strategy representative informed me that reporters were routinely given ‘special access’ to Ghostery queries by Evidon. The email encouraged me to get in contact if I wanted to ‘reveal the hidden web’.

I replied in the affirmative after a quick google search confirmed this phrase to be one of Evidon’s tag-lines. A few days later received a response.

The response inquired as to my reach and influence as a journalist. It contained a link to an article as an example of the kind of story they could help me write. The article is published on Internet Retailer and can be found here:‘How the Top 50 retailers’ web sites performed over Thanksgiving weekend’. If you use a javascript blocker, I encourage you to try opening this link in a browser without one and compare the results.

This article was described as a ‘placement’ of one of the Ghostery datasets they had on offer, and the PR representative described Evidon as working together with online media to ‘build data sets for ongoing stories’.

So what to make of this?

This exchange has not given me any newfound confidence in either Ghostery or Evidon; infact the result in much the opposite. The invocation of dataset ‘placement’ and ‘building’ makes it clear that this offer of access involves a two-way data transaction.

Still, I stand by the comments made in my previous post on the matter, and I do not think Ghostery is contadicting any of its stated committments — I would just tone down any optimism I previously expressed.

But that aside — with so much ad and tracking data, wouldn’t you have thought that marketing intelligence company Evidon’s PR strategy firm would do a little more homework to find out how its offers would likely be recieved?