The Glory of American Politics Goes Worldwide

I am in San Francisco at the moment -- hot yesterday, back to typical August raw chill tonight -- and was typing up the notes from the day's interviews. Naturally this involves going to track down odd references on The Internet, and one such oddity led me to a Spanish-language news site based in... Paraguay.

The Atlantic is all in favor of increased online display-ads to boost revenue for news organizations, so I was glad to see that this site had plenty. Here's the one that ran wall to wall across the top of the page. Click for larger:


Everything else on the page was in Spanish -- and was about events in Paraguay. Not in California, where Barbara Boxer, subject of the go-negative ad, is trying to hold onto her seat in the Senate against Carly Fiorina.

For a moment I thought, wtf ? Then I realized: clever targeting! The Paraguayan site can tell from my IP address that I'm coming in from California, so it serves up this relevant-to-Californians ad. To test this hypothesis, I fired up my VPN, chose a pseudo-IP address in Chicago, and went to the same site. Bingo: a normal old non-political ad in the same space. Not a bad way for the Fiorina team to make a negative "values" pitch to the subset of California's Latino vote that might be following the news from Paraguay.

To complete the experiment, I switched the VPN to a pseudo-address in Los Angeles, and went to Paraguay again. Bingo once more! Another Carly ad, this time in Spanish, next to another ad in English:


I have never been prouder of my country, my home state, or my language.