Point of view: New media science

Joe Mandese

Industrial revolutions are not easy. They challenge or destroy established business models and create a lot of waste, inefficiency and disruption until new ones are established. That's exactly what's been happening to Madison Avenue as it works its way through the digital revolution.

The first phase of the internet revolution was tough enough as the ad industry shifted from one-to-many to one-to-one communications models, and increasing user-control of content and brand messaging, but at least big marketers and agencies still called the shots.

The latest phase - the shift toward social media - is very different, and even more challenging, because it means the users are completely in control, and the intrusion model that Madison Avenue was originally built on, increasingly does not work. The problem is that no definitive new model has emerged in its place.