FEDMA addressed MEP Lauristin on BtoB direct marketing at industry ePrivacy lunch

FEDMA Article – On the 28th June, FEDMA, together with Chris Combemale, FEDMA’s Co-Chair, participated to a lunch organised by representatives of the advertising industry on ePrivacy with MEP Lauristin. Where also present representatives from the UK, Irish and Austrian permanent representations. Chris communicated strongly to MEP Lauristin the importance to keep BtoB commercial communication excluded from the scope of the ePrivacy proposal. The Commission’s proposal from last January maintains the status quo that Member States are responsible for developing rules for BtoB unsolicited communication.

In many countries, BtoB communication benefits from a more flexible regime. MEP Lauristin understood Chris’ arguments and responded positively that such communication does not require the same level of protection as BtoC communication. However, her draft report leaves some open questions whether it would actually keep the status quo for BtoB communication. FEDMA, together with Chris, is following up with her on this particularly important issue for our industry.

During the rest of the lunch, the industry heavily discussed the issue of consent via browser, arguing that internet browser, a service currently concentrated in a handful of large companies, should not act as gatekeepers, but should enable any parties of the digital economy to request consent directly from the user. Publishers in the room also expressed their concerns regarding an amendment from MEP Lauristin banning publishers from denying access of their service to users who have not given their consent. This amendment would have a huge impact on online publisher business models where most of the revenues derive from advertising supported by data. Finally, discussions looked at the importance to ensure that the ePrivacy Regulation is coherent and in line with the GDPR.