ANA Says Mozilla Sending Wrong Message To Consumers

Turns out that the Association of National Advertisers isn't any happier with Mozilla's cookie-blocking plan than the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The ANA said today in a blog post that Mozilla's "dangerous and highly disturbing" plan to block third-party cookies by default will be "extraordinarily counterproductive for consumers and business."

The ANA adds that Mozilla's anticipated move "sends the false message to consumers that OBA (online behavioral advertising) is inherently bad without providing any meaningful background knowledge describing the innumerable benefits of being served relevant ads."

The trade group goes on to imply that Mozilla's move is unnecessary because consumers already can opt out through industry-run sites, such as the one run by the Digital Advertising Alliance.

But that argument overlooks the glaring difference between the industry-sanctioned opt-outs and cookie-blocking: Cookie-blocking prevents data collection, but opting out through an industry page only stops companies from sending behaviorally targeted advertising. In other words, companies that belong to the DAA can continue to collect data for analytics and market research even after consumers click on an opt-out link.

In fact, one of the reasons why the World Wide Web Consortium's 18-month effort to set standards implementing do-not-track has stalled is that industry representatives and privacy advocates can't agree on how much data, if any, should be collected after consumers say they don't want to be tracked.

Had the industry and advocates reached an agreement on that point, Mozilla might not have felt the need to move forward with a plan to block third-party cookies by default. But now that Mozilla has publicly said it intends to forge ahead with a patch that will block third-party cookies, rhetoric touting the industry's own opt-out program might not be enough to change anyone's mind.

6 comments about "ANA Says Mozilla Sending Wrong Message To Consumers".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. sonsi mehenna from bb, March 14, 2013 at 6:53 p.m.

    Personally, I'm going right back to Firefox if they do this. As a marketer I'm less enthused.

  2. Dan Ortega from Hyperdyme Systems, March 14, 2013 at 6:59 p.m.

    So here's the problem. Mozilla did something, then everyone (IAB, ANA, DAA, etc.) reacts by freaking out to the rising privacy tide (have they not been paying attention?). They need to get ahead of this and claim the moral high ground on the benefits of behavioral targeting. They need to hit the consumer hard on why targeting is a good idea, then do a full court press on the politicians before the privatistas flatten them.

  3. chris shirling from New Media Shop, March 14, 2013 at 8:29 p.m.

    It's more of a good idea for the bottom feeder ad networks than it is for consumers. Nice to see a shift that helps publishers.

  4. Ari Rosenberg from Performance Pricing Holdings, LLC, March 14, 2013 at 9:09 p.m.

    For you New Yorkers, the idea of not allowing consumers to buy 16 oz sodas is a great idea because consumers would benefit -- they would be healthier, less likely to get diabetes etc -- but the ban on sodas was ruled unconstitutional because we dont have the right to make that choice for consumers even when it's in their best interest. This is not about a good online experience it's about consumer choice and the ANA and IAB and every other association tied to the business of making money from selling advertising is going to fight for their own pocketbook not for consumers while Mozilla and MSFT have come to the rescue of consumers by saying hey IF you want targeted ads then feel free to OPT IN for them but we will not make that choice for you -- and please the OPT OUT process currently in place is a joke -- we think consumers understand our language and they dont and btw, they are kind of busy feeding their families why should they have to spend any time learning how to OPT OUT of having their personal data taken without their permission. WE as an industry should be ashamed by how the IAB and ANA are reacting.

  5. Joe Chiffriller from, March 15, 2013 at 12:45 a.m.

    Ari said it well. Sell the benefits of behavioral targeting and let the consumer opt in. The objections giving rise to the current move to block cookies show that "the innumerable benefits of being served relevant ads" have not been made clear to the consumer. If the effort to educate has failed, we either need to face the possibility that consumers value privacy over the joys of behaviorally targeted ads OR do a better job of explaining what we want people to believe.

  6. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, March 15, 2013 at 7:54 a.m.

    Epic rant, but with a big problem. When the author says, "If Mozilla was right that consumers want to avoid OBA, then clearly opt out rates would be much higher than we have witnessed to date", he must know that nobody outside the industry has heard of OBA, let alone how it works. So how are they to know to make a decision?

Next story loading loading..