Marriott Enters Deal With Yahoo To Spam Bonvoy Members From Emails To Your In-Room TV

Expedia advertises on tv, agglomerates customer eyeballs, and sells them to hotels. You’re not Expedia’s customer either, you’re the product they sell to hotels.

Similarly you’re not a hotel chain’s customer, you’re the product. They sell your eyeballs to the hotel owners that pay them fees to use the brand. That’s why the head of Diamondrock Hospitality, a large hotel owner, calls Marriott Bonvoy members “leads”.

At Marriott, they use the Bonvoy program to get customers to go to their website for hotel needs, and market affiliated hotel owner properties to you. So in a natural extension for Marriott to enter into an advertising deal with Yahoo to deliver ads to eyeballs Bonvoy members. It’s a new way to monetize their leads.

Marriott International, Inc., today announced the launch of the Marriott Media Network, an omnichannel cross-platform advertising solution for brand advertisers, enabling curated content experiences and offerings to guests throughout their travel journey. To power its network of owned channels, Marriott is exclusively collaborating with Yahoo, an industry-leading unified stack advertising platform.

Marriott will deliver advertising from travel companies looking to sell products to Bonvoy members. This starts in the U.S .and Canada but will ultimately expand worldwide. Bonvoy claims 164 million members, though of course most aren’t active.

You can expect to see “display, mobile, video, email and digital out-of-home (in-room television and digital screens)” ads. Marriott believes their members are going to be high income people who make travel purchases, and this will allow them to earn a revenue premium for their ad inventory.

  • Marriott Bonvoy is a list of names, emails and purchase histories that they rent to affiliate hotels for a fee.

  • They currently rent out this list to partners like Rewards Network (dining), Chase and American Express (credit cards) and numerous other travel partners. These generally involve getting a commission from member activity and rebating a portion to the member (points) as an incentive.

  • Here they’ll just make their marketing channels available to travel providers to advertise through directly.

You should receive marketing emails, as well as ads served up inside the Marriott mobile app and on their website. You’ll see ads on your in-room television as well. Ironically they’ll be earning more off of their member base while delivering less value in return.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Similarly you’re not a hotel chain’s customer, you’re the product.

    Left unsaid is that the same statement applies, for instance, to this website. It exists to sell our eyeballs to the folks behind the eight advertisers present on this (including one for a senior living residence, so thanks for that!). One of them is an unlooked-for video pop-up that is using my bandwidth. Recently, one of the ads was for a company that this very website states is criminal in the way it treats it’s customers.

  2. Why does Yahoo even need to enter in a deal with Marriott for this information? It’s already available on the dark web from Marriott’s data breach. Yahoo could just mine this information and spam the users directly. Why pay and rely on Marriott to do this?

  3. @LarryInNYC – This website is similar to Marriott in the sense that it has display ads like anywhere else you might go online. But ok sure.

    I wrote this site for several years without any ads at all (or for that matter revenue of any kind), so I don’t think it’s correct to say that the site exists to sell your eyeballs.

    I don’t have any involvement with who advertises on the site most of the time but if you come across an ad selling criminal products please email me because I am sure we can get it blocked.

  4. I’m certainly not in the ads business (and far away in the tech world) but I’ve never understood the returns on ads. I can understand launching a new product and needed to get it known but items like cars. For most people it is a once in a decade purchase and who sees a car on tv and immediately goes out and buys it? Not the vast majority of people I know.

    Sadly I expect to see ads on all kinds of smart tvs, and streaming devices. It is annoying enough when you pay for a no-ad streaming service that they still put an ad in here and there. The strange part to me are the ads usually are for their own shows that I am already paying for so what are they gaining?

    I always thought stuff like McDonalds and all their ads were excessive because they are everywhere and a reminded here and there is plenty, why spam and waste tons of money advertising something people already know about?

  5. @Gary, the site may not have existed then with the intention of selling eyeballs but you have to be honest and admit, it certainly does, to an extent, now. And FYI, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, the bills have to be paid somehow, but taking issue with @LarryInNYC is interesting since he really wasn’t that far off base with his comment.

  6. In the future, especially when staying at a Marriott International property operated by Diamondrock Hospitality, I expect even your poop will be monetized. Did you know that after you flush the toilet in your guest room, your fecal waste becomes the hotel’s property? The lab results of the stool analysis of your fecal excrement can then be sold to the highest bidder to help increase Marriott’s profits.

    The good news for guests is that your lab results can help diagnose conditions affecting your digestive tract, such as infection from hotel food parasites, viruses, and bacteria, resulting in poor nutrient absorption leading to colorectal cancer.

    In partnership with Yahoo and Marriott Media Networks, curated content experiences for guests with stage three or four colon cancer will benefit from the power of the vast Marriott guest database. With your fecal waste analysis, surgical medical providers will now be able to receive life-saving colectomies at a Marriott elite discount, including a Bonvoy benefit of complimentary valet parking and a 20% discount on resort fees during your hotel stay.

  7. Companies reserve functionality solely for their apps because historically it is a much richer source of information that can be monetized. Browser based tracking blockers don’t work for apps.

    That’s why one has to block advertising on the operating system level. On iOS that means installing an app with an associated VPN profile, like Which can also be used on mac os.

    Also keep an eye out for updates to the iOS Marriott app that copy the content of your clipboard. I’m assuming all versions of their android app do this daily.

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