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By: Dennis Kneale
I am stunned. Thirty years after I started covering the broadcast networks as a young Wall Street Journal reporter, the demo still forms the foundation of the $80 billion a year in TV advertising in the U.S. and billions of dollars more overseas. Michael Jackson, Ronald Regan, Nirvana, Pets.com, Bear Stearns—all gone. Yet advertisers and programmers still think that the most important information to have about the audience is their age, sex, and race. It's time to go beyond the demo, beyond look-alikes. It's time for act-alikes: to apply what we know about the science of what people do, how they behave, the interests they share.
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