Monetizing LinkedIn: this is where it gets creative (Banana Republic promotion)

LinkedIn has long been admired for its thoughtful and apparently highly effective approach to monetization. Yet, today I was a little surprised to be offered a pop-up promotional box (pop-up! yes, a pop-up!) after a minor update to my profile:

I like 25% off coupons as much as the next person, I guess, and may well use this one on my next trip to the mall. But the thing is: I go to Banana Republic exactly once a year, and I always buy the same stuff (say: three pairs of pants, a dress, a sweater or two). So, for them, it’s money that they basically leave on the table.

For LinkedIn, it’s another way to essentially sell their audience to an advertiser. Is there an opt-out? Of course each promo has its own opt-in mechanism, and you can just close it if you don’t care for it, but is there an overall button to opt out that says “I only want to use LinkedIn as a professional tool and online Rolodex, so please do not show me any pop-up sweepstakes or promotions“?

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