Marketing

This industry group is trying to convince lawmakers that small businesses need targeted ads

As convos around data privacy continue to heat up, the Interactive Advertising Bureau is pushing back.
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Talk about meta: the “ad-supported internet” is getting its very own marketing push.

Huh? Yesterday, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a trade org whose members include companies like Google and TikTok, as well as brands and agencies, debuted an initiative called “Internet for Growth” in an attempt to make the case to policymakers and others that digital advertising isn’t so bad after all.

In a statement announcing the campaign, IAB CEO David Cohen said, “The ad-supported internet plays a critical role in enabling competitiveness and empowering entrepreneurialism in communities across America.”

Why now? Well, people don’t exactly love targeted ads.

  • A survey of nearly 2,000 US adults that Marketing Brew conducted with Harris Poll in August found 60% of respondents didn’t think personalized advertising is ethical. And nearly three-quarters said they’ve taken steps to make it more difficult for advertisers to collect data about them.
  • Some states, like California, have passed privacy-related laws in recent years to give people more control over how their data is used. And Democrats introduced a bill this week that could largely put a stop to targeted ads (barring location-based targeting in some instances).

The IAB is now pushing back with this latest undertaking, which, according to Axios, will target local lawmakers and include “250 testimonials from small businesses around the country about ways their businesses benefit from targeted ads.”

Brendan Thomas, VP of public policy communications at the IAB, told Marketing Brew over email that the initiative “seeks to preserve small businesses’ ability to conduct commerce online. Commerce is increasingly data-driven, even for the smallest storefronts.”—MS

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