Brands should think before they advertise online

IAB Engage: Social psychologist Dr Aleks Krotoski has accused marketers and brands of “breaking the web.”


Speaking today (4 November) at the IAB Engage conference in London, the researcher and journalist says that the increasing level of online brand-related content is “undermining the true ethos of what the web was supposed to be.”

Dr Krotoski says brands should not be so overt and targeted with making online connections with consumers, and allow them to find brands through a process of information discovery – in the way the founders of the web intended it to be.

Krotoski says: “Stop and think about the service you deliver and whether it will be given to your target demographic on a plate. You need to encourage serendipity and create information that we weren’t expecting, stuff we can discover, that doesn’t’ restrict us to being ’that’ demographic.”

The BBC presenter adds that despite some innovative digital campaigns, she believes brands need to be braver, and that marketers have a lot of work to do to be truly innovative on the web.

“You need to design systems that actively challenge the consumer, to make it harder for them to find you and what you’re trying to sell,” she adds.

“Promoting elements of randomness will inspire new interactions with content. It will be the next big idea to come out of this industry.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here