Targeted marketing missing the mark (per usual)

I am used to being mistaken by direct-mail marketers for a Protestant clergyperson. It's a perfectly reasonable mistake. But I still did a double-take upon being offered a very substantial clergy discount on the very expensive Official Catholic Directory.

A few days later, Harvard University Press sent me an advert addressed "Dear Classics Scholar." I haven't really been one of those for about seven years and four addresses in three states. But I probably checked a box at some point somewhere expressing an interest in Classical Studies, so the book offers "in your field" will long outlast my career as a Classicist.

It's amusing to imagine the consumer profile on me out there in the ether, made up of incidental bits of information gleaned from things like product registration forms, my various supermarket discount cards, and magazine subscriptions. If I were a privacy freak I would be dismayed, but then, if I were a privacy freak, I probably wouldn't blog, would I?

P.S. I wonder what makes the Sierra Club think I'm a prospective member. Apparently, having grown up in Republican rural Oregon where "Save a Logger, Eat an Owl" was among the most popular bumper sticker slogans has not made it into my consumer profile.


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