Informative Advertising and Optimal Targeting in a Monopoly
This paper analyzes how the transition from mass to specialized advertising can affect the market outcomes. To that end, we consider a particular technology of information transmission which allows a monopolist to decide the optimal targeting strategy. From this starting point, we show that the use of targeted advertising is likely to increase the market price and reduce the level of advertising, and that the degree of media specialization chosen by the monopolist tends to exceed the socially optimal. Furthermore, our model indicates that the social loss resulting from the greater monopoly power might exceed the gain due to the lower wasting of ads, in such a way that targeting could reduce consumer surplus and, what is more important, the level of social welfare. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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Volume (Year): 49 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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