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Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Pandora Launches Targeted Political Ads

By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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Joe Mathieu has returned to his professional home town and assumed the...
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BOSTON (CBS) – The dream of any advertiser is to speak only to the people it wants to sell stuff to. That’s why media companies are always looking for ways to tailor content to specific groups of people.

The music streaming service Pandora is the latest, launching advertising that will allow political campaigns to target specific groups of people based on where they live, how old they are and, yes, their favorite music.

The company says it can tell how you will vote with up to 80-percent accuracy.

I cannot tell you if that is true. But I can tell you much of this is based on assumptions and stereotypes.

You’ve probably heard them before. Country music fans are Republicans. Hip-hop and jazz listeners are Democrats. And so on.

They’ve become stereotypes because they are often true. Except when they’re not.

And there’s nothing new about this game in the advertising business.

Far from. Madison Avenue has long tried to make connections between big brands and political parties, which are of course brands themselves.

A recent study from Buyology, for instance, claims republicans prefer Dunkin Donuts and Democrats prefer Starbucks. Makes for fun headlines even if it may have little connection to reality.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz

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