22 June 2010

BBC makes money using Internet borders

I have written about this topic before, but it never ceases to amuse me that the BBC News web site includes paid-for advertising. At least it does whenever I'm geo-located outside of the UK.

I was returning from my home town of Dayton, Ohio last week, and was doing some rush client work from my laptop in airports.

Geo-location 1: Dayton airport. Browser pointed at: BBC News web. Appearance: paid-for advertising embedded in my page aimed at US consumers.

Geo-location 2: Toronto airport. Browser pointed at: BBC News web; Appearance: paid-for advertising embedded in my page aimed at Canadian (specifically aimed at Toronto area) consumers.

Geo-location 3: my apartment in central London. Browser pointed at: BBC News web; Appearance: NO paid-for advertising, and this is the right result. After all, if the BBC "broadcast" paid-for advertising to me while I am inside the UK then the BBC is arguably acting in violation of its charter.

I wonder how much money the BBC makes because they were willing to ignore the "standard" advice that the Internet has no borders?

Lesson for businesses: if your tech support team tells you that you can't make money because "the Internet has no borders", then it's time to get a more creative tech support team.