Genetic Advertising


If you thought personalized advertising based on your Facebook status updates, Gmail content or online browsing behavior was creepy, just you wait. The era of genetic-based advertising is coming, and it could be just as profitable.

“Today, it’s such a niche market, but there’s tremendous growth opportunities there,” said geneticist Michael Schatz of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “In the endgame, it’s certain [genetics is] going to become one of the factors that big retailers would consider, but I think that’s pretty far off.”

Maybe not so far off.

Minneapolis-based startup Miinome is already building a platform that will help consumers control what offers they get from retailers based on their genetic makeup, and to possibly cash in on the value of their DNA by selling the data back to marketers and researchers.

“We believe we can make your genetic information useful every day, not just when you’re sick,” said Miinome CEO Paul Saarinen. “We’re the first member-controlled, portable human genomics marketplace.” Through an open API, Miinome will combine genetic and environmental data mined from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and run that through their proprietary algorithm to come up with a profile of you that’s richer than anything that exists on the internet today.