Ad Industry Blasts Possible National Ban On Behavioral Ads

A new version of potential federal privacy legislation is drawing heated criticism from the ad industry, which says the measure would “stifle the innovative American economy.”

The most recent iteration of the American Privacy Rights Act, released late last week, would prohibit businesses from serving targeted ads to consumers based on their activity across sites and apps. That's a significant change from a prior version of the bill, which would have permitted behavioral targeting on an opt-out basis.

“At this point we regretfully find ourselves needing to go on record in strong opposition to the discussion draft of the American Privacy Rights Act,” the group Privacy for America says in a letter sent Monday to House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders.

“Advertising is not the problem that Congress needs to solve for in the enactment of federal privacy legislation,” the organization writes.



The group adds that the discussion draft “would significantly hamper everyday engagement between companies and individuals, cut individuals off from the products, services, information, and resources they enjoy and rely on today, and stifle the innovative American economy.”

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) introduced the first discussion draft of the bill in April. That version would have either required companies to obtain opt-in consent for online behavioral advertising, or banned such advertising altogether, depending on interpretation.

Last month, lawmakers amended the discussion draft in a way that would have required businesses to allow consumers to opt out of behavioral advertising. Chris Oswald, executive vice president at the Association of National Advertisers, said at the time that the group was “pleased that some of the revised language appears to reflect the importance of advertising in driving economic growth and funding a vast array of popular digital services.”

But lawmakers again reversed course in the current version of the draft bill.

The House Energy and Commerce committee is expected to take up the measure on Thursday.

2 comments about "Ad Industry Blasts Possible National Ban On Behavioral Ads".
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  1. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, June 25, 2024 at 11:16 a.m.

    Where is the consumer's expectation of privacy come into play?  The government or law enforcement needs a search warrant to look through my computer based on probable cause or a crime committed - so why does any company have the right to monitor me by tracking my behavior every time I get on my computer or my cell phone?

    Consumers shouldn't be forced to "opt out."  They should not be required to cancel something they never requested to begin with.

    Brands and agencies need to get back to creative that engages and going to where their consumer is vs. blasting them with repetitive ads hoping technology and repetition will engage them.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, June 25, 2024 at 11:53 p.m.

    One of the first things I learnt in martketing is that your brand's communication with the consumer should be 'pulled' by the consumer and not 'pushed' by the marketer.

    Yes it was a very different era back then, but having a brand pushed into your face was considered an insult.   I think that what is happening now is that the current generations tend to just ignore the 'push' (but are keen on the new 'discovery') which indicates that a lot of current advertising is of little or no value because basically every brand casn do the same in the same category at the same time.

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