Ad industry Lawyers Up!

Desperately clinging to the wreckage of surveillance-marketing, the ad industry went on a legal binge this week.

First, in France, a group of advertisers and publishers including the IAB and the Mobile Marketing Association whined to French authorities about Apple’s plan to introduce new privacy measures into iOS 14.

The new software will block advertisers from collecting certain types of information from iPhone users unless the users opt-in to being tracked. 

Contrary to the horseshit promulgated by the online ad industry and its flunkies in the agency business, consumers do not find tracking-based advertising “more relevant, more timely, and more likable’. 

Not even close. 

In fact research indicates that 85% of iPhone users will not opt-in to being tracked. 

In some major logic-torturing, the ad industry complaint contends that Apple’s move is somehow anti-competitive.

Next we cut to California where all the usual suspects — the IAB, the ANA, and the 4As — sent an 8-page letter to the California Attorney General claiming that the California Consumer Protection Act is an infringement on advertisers’ first amendment right of free speech. 

Wha? Huh?

The CCPA makes it easier for consumers to opt-out of being tracked. Why is this important? California is the 6th largest economy in the world. Larger than the economy of France. 

Additionally, a great many tech companies are headquartered in CA which makes some parts of CA law de facto US law for these companies.

Behind all this hubbub and hysteria over tracking is one simple question: What in the f-ing world makes our industry think that the convenience of marketers is more important than the privacy rights of citizens?

Wait ‘til ad industry “leaders” get a whiff of this. This week, California voters are very likely to pass something called Proposition 24. In one great swipe Prop 24 makes a whole lot of the ad tech shit show illegal.

According to The Drum, ‘businesses that suck up consumer data from the programmatic advertising bidstream…would be affected.” 

One expert said, this affects “everything that goes on in the ad tech ecosystem…

Before we get too excited about this, however, it’s important to remember that there’s a big difference between law and law enforcement. Thus far both the GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in the States have been a ton of lip and not an ounce of teeth.

Bob Hoffman is author of five Amazon #1 selling books about advertising. He also writes the almost-weekly Ad Contrarian Newsletter

(Photo credit: 123RF)

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