A ban on targeted advertising would damage small businesses, independent media, consumer welfare, economic integration, and the EU’s international reputation.
Better enforcement of Europe’s strong data protection and privacy legislation, as well as new measures to boost trust and transparency in the online advertising ecosystem, are needed and are welcome.
But there are #NoEasyWins in digital policymaking, and we owe it to Europe’s citizens to get this right.
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Who Would Miss Out if These Proposals Became Law?
Proposals to ban or restrict targeted ads in Europe as part of the new Digital Services Act (DSA) package would have far-reaching consequences. Data-driven advertising is crucial for the small businesses that depend on it to find audiences, for the publishers who rely on it for revenues, and for exporting economies that need frictionless access to the Digital Single Market.
There are #NoEasyWins in digital regulation, but let’s see who would really lose out if these proposals became law:
European SMEs increasingly rely on targeted ads to find and sell to customers. Digital marketing has been a lifeline during the pandemic, with 50% of small businesses saying that digital advertising is now more than ever important to their business. Restricting targeted ads now would remove a vital component of many SMEs’ post-pandemic recovery strategies.
The percentage of consumers buying goods online in Central and Eastern Europe has increased by double digits during the pandemic, and businesses from the region depend heavily on digital ads to market themselves across the Single Market. Banning or restricting targeted ads would be a huge step backward and does not have broad support across the EU.
There is still time to act.
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