On November 2nd, FEDMA took part in a panel discussion on targeted online advertising organised by the Center for Data Innovation.
The panel aimed at exploring how European businesses use digital advertising to generate growth, the contributions of targeted ads to the EU’s digital transformation, and the implications of a ban on personalised ads on the digital economy.
Featuring speakers from FEDMA, AIG, IAB, The Lisbon Council and ZZP, the panel highlighted the significant role of targeting advertising for SMEs’ and startups, explaining that as these small players operate on small marketing budgets, targeting advertising enables them to reach and connect with the relevant audience in a cost-effective way and generate growth. In particular, FEDMA stressed the importance for many companies to efficiently tailor their marketing campaigns to the right people in the current times of economic recovery when consumer interactions have shifted from the offline to the online environment.
The panellists shared a common view that a ban on personalised ads would therefore have far reaching consequences on the broader economy with smaller players unable to compete with larger, well-established companies as well as harms to consumer welfare. Adverse effects which would not only hit companies looking for customers for their products, but also other actors relying on targeting advertising to support their activities, including publishers and non-profit organisations.
Finally, panellists pointed out that the proposed Digital Services Act should make a clearer distinction between political advertising (and the problems associated to it) and commercial advertising, the latter being already subject to an extensive but fragmented legal framework ranging from privacy, data protection rules (GDPR, ePrivacy) to consumer protection legislations (UCPD, CRD, ECD, AVMS). More coherency and better enforcement of existing legislations (especially the GDPR) along with increased transparency were thus indicated as key pillars to address many of the problems associated to targeting advertising.
Find here a recording of the discussion.