Some EU legislators have promoted the ban on targeted advertising to enter the debate around the regulation of large-scale technology amplification, and some business representatives have expressed their concerns.
On Monday (August 23), the trade organization Connected Commerce Council criticized members of the Green European Parliament who proposed to restrict online targeted advertising, arguing that the ban would reduce the effectiveness of advertising and increase advertising costs, thereby particularly hurting small businesses.
Targeted advertising, including its rapidly growing online format, allows marketers to target consumers through advertisements that reflect their specific interests and shopping behavior.
Green lawmakers have been one of the leaders in the debate on reducing targeted advertising, gathered in No tracking ad network, It receives members of the European Parliament from several political groups.
The latest initiatives include Amendment The Digital Market Act (DMA), this is a landmark legislative proposal designed to regulate large technology companies.
“Digital advertising is the most important marketing tool for countless European small businesses. With limited budgets, targeted advertising allows small advertisers to find potential customers easier and cheaper than ever before,” the European Internet Business Council (3C) ) Consultant Brandon Mitchener (Brandon Mitchener) said.
“Eliminating this precious small business tool will only benefit large companies that already have brand awareness and are able to spend millions of euros on mass media advertising,” Michener added.
3C stated that it defends the interests of its members, including 1,800 small businesses from 17 European countries. However, the company declined to provide a complete list of its member organizations.
Margarida Silva, a researcher and activist at the European Enterprise Observatory, criticized 3C’s lack of transparency and was not registered as a lobbying group in the EU’s Transparency Register.
“3C is trying to influence EU politics while evading its lobbying transparency rules. If an organization claims to represent 1,800 small and medium-sized companies, then they should at least be able to disclose the identities of these members.”
“Members of the European Parliament and other EU officials need to be able to know exactly whose interests are represented by the organizations trying to influence them,” Silva said.
The world’s largest online advertisers, Facebook and Google, are partners of 3C websites because their stated purpose is to connect small businesses to the platform so that they can sell their services.
In 2019, the U.S. non-governmental organization “Accountability Campaign” that supports the Technology Transparency Project, defendant 3C conceals its true intentions, presents the concerns of small companies, and actually promotes the interests of large technology companies. A 3C spokesperson told EURACTIV that its position is always approved by its members.
European Technology Alliance (EUTA) President Magdalena Piech gathered companies established and developed in Europe and responded to at least some of 3C’s concerns.
She said: “A total ban on any form of’personalized advertising’ will do more harm than good to consumers, European digital companies, media groups, publishers and advertisers.”
While agreeing that advertising should respect the rights of consumers and comply with EU privacy laws and other relevant legislation, Piech said: “This matter needs to be discussed in depth to avoid overlaps and inconsistencies, while keeping in mind the rights and interests of all interested parties. Demand. Party.”
Sebastiano Toffaletti, secretary general of the European Digital Alliance of Small and Medium Enterprises, expressed a more cautious stance.
“We are critical of the shortcomings of large companies’ advertising-based business models, but of course, it is important to consider the impact of banning targeted advertising on small businesses and the entire Internet-dependent business.”
Toffaletti pointed out that the complexity of the issue requires in-depth research to understand the full impact of these regulations on small companies.
Andreas Schwab, the chief negotiator of the European Parliament DMA, pointed out that the amendment does not propose a total ban on targeted advertising, but attempts to prevent very large online platform gatekeepers from using their market power to conduct targeted advertising across different services.
Therefore, the amendment will strengthen a key obligation of the gatekeeper platform that prohibits them from merging personal data collected through their different services without the user’s explicit consent.
For example, within this framework, Instagram may not share personal data with its parent company Facebook, nor may it share YouTube with its owner, Google.
Schwab stated that he still needs to complete the review of the 1,200 amendments to the DMA, but said that he opposes a total ban on targeted advertising, and the non-tracking advertising alliance is trying to advance this work in the context of the Digital Services Act .
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]