SAN JUAN — As much of the advertising landscape moves from human-, direct-sold advertisements to a data-infused, automated process, does the nature of TV become mechanistic along with it?

That was one of the many tricky balances debated in a fireside discussion at Beet Retreat between Turner EVP of data strategy and product innovation Jesse Redniss and Furious Corp CEO Ashley J. Swartz.

Swartz set up the distinction as a juxtaposition of “EQ” (emotional intelligence) and “IQ” (intelligence quotient), noting that the ongoing human characteristic of TV involves a heavy dose of the former.

Agreeing, Redniss said: “If you don’t have a great consumer experience, you’re never going to capture data.

“TV traditional business was never based on PII (personally-identifiable information), it was based on panels that Nielsen drove for a long time. Then along came all mobile platforms, web-based platforms, which are capturing IP, device IDs, you’re capturing a lot of behavioral insights.

“Now a lot of companies are blending emotional responses that can be gleaned from everything from biometric measurement to social conversation. All that (is) flowing into now how you’re actually really truly trying to understand consumers.”

After watching the digital display ad business convert largely to programmatic modes of ad trading, the broadcast business has spend the last couple of years looking for similar ways to inject data and automation in to TV and video advertising.

But, so far, a fraction of the US TV ad business has converted, and the evolution is now happening amidst a new global concern over practices which use consumer data in ad targeting.

Is the pendulum suddenly swinging back toward the human touch?

“I think right now, we need to put a pause, quite frankly, into the free fire hose of how data is accessed and utilized to strategically align use cases of how data can be leveraged,” Redniss added.

“Facebook is now in a position where they took too much liberty in how they’re leveraging data and who could actually access it.

“That’s the balance that every single company and every publisher is trying to solve right now – how do you scale content creation, how do you scale direct-to-consumer relationships in a way that respects that balance?

“When you look at what’s going on with GDPR and soon to be CCPA, which we believe and I believe should be an overall regulation that the US has to stand by. We’re going to have to do it.”

This video was produced in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Beet.TV executive retreat. Please find more videos from the series on this page.

The Beet Retreat was presented by NCC along with Amobee, Dish Media, Oath and Google.