By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published in AdExchanger.
It’s easy to take a prominent stance against proposed “Do Not Track” legislation. Like many online marketers I don’t yearn for regulation of the industry, believing it will stunt growth and hamper innovation. However, I also believe that anti-tracking legislation will not destroy online advertising.
Despite continuing pressure by public advocacy groups and members of Congress I don’t expect the United States to adopt anti-tracking legislation or regulations for several years — if ever.
The history of success of competition and regulations against certain forms of marketing and communications is mixed. The U.S. Postal Service has been around for almost 240 years and yet it is adapting (albeit slowly) to Web-based competition. And best of luck to those who try to “unsubscribe” from receiving targeted catalogs and direct mail, despite Federal unsubscribe regulations.
The passage of regulation meant to curb online behavioral marketing will require market adjustments. We’re already seeing that on a small scale after Microsoftintroduced default DNT settings in the newest version of its Internet Explorer browser. Despite claims by some that anti-tracking legislation will mean the end of online advertising I wouldn’t start shuttering ad agency doors just yet.
After the dust around this debate settles, I predict government regulators will come to several sensible conclusions: (more…)
By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published in Digiday.
Reality check: The proposed Do Not Track legislation won’t kill online advertising. It may hamper innovation and cause financial hardship for businesses that thrive on online consumer-data tracking, but it won’t kill a $31 billion industry.
Not all see it this way, of course. 33Across CMO Allie Kline recently called on marketers to “fight [the] anti-tracking forces.” It’s a call to action growing with increasing alarm in the digital media and online publishing industries.
That argument, which my MediaWhiz colleagues and I respect, comes about 10 years too late. Some form of anti-tracking legislation is inevitable given the industry’s size and influence. How marketers, publishers and advertisers respond to this legislation will determine whether the industry retains its sizable influence on consumers’ purchasing habits.
Despite my above statements, I am against anti-tracking legislation. It will create numerous barriers for advertisers, brands and agencies. The ability to track consumers’ online purchasing habits and deliver targeted ads based on data collected is a cornerstone of e-commerce.
DNT legislation will make online ads less relevant, forcing potentially unforeseeable changes – not to mention increased costs — in the digital ecosystem. This will adversely affect consumers’ online experiences in ways few proponents are willing to admit. Despite these glaring issues, the enactment of DNT legislation will not destroy online advertising.
While I do not wish to see legislation enacted, I believe it would force marketers to be more creative in their campaigns. It may foster the development of closer connections and opt-ins between brands and consumers. This, in turn, will deliver more detailed customer data and more successful purchase paths. There are just two reasons why DNT won’t kill online advertising. The first has to do with the industry’s continual innovation. The second requires marketers to take a hard look at their own actions.
Read the full op-ed in Digiday.