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AIG Newsletter 18 January 2022

Advertising Information Group-Newsletter


EP IMCO publishes its Report on the Digital Services Act proposal

On 4 January, the EP IMCO Committee published its Report on the proposal for a DSA, which was adopted by IMCO MEPs in December. On targeted advertising, the text requires transparent and informed choice for all recipients of services, including information on how their data will be monetised and to better protect minors from direct marketing, profiling and behaviourally targeted advertising for commercial purposes.

The DSA will be discussed during the plenary session on Wednesday (19 January), with the votes scheduled for the next day. In addition to the 457 amendments tabled as part of the IMCO report, new amendments (458–563) were tabled concerning instance recommender systems, the methodology for designating VLOPs, removal of illegal content or interoperability and targeted advertising.

Regarding outreach, the AIG contacted over 100 targeted MEPs from across the EP last week to outline concerns about proposed new rules for cookie consent requests (Article 13a (b)), the data privacy of minors (Article 24 1(b)), and a new act to address dark patterns (Recital 39a). The AIG also wrote to MEPs today to highlight concerns about specific amendments concerning consent and targeted advertising. 

Other stakeholders also continue to remind MEPs of their positions: IAB Europe highlighted the value of targeted ads for small businesses and small publishers, whilst, a group of digital rights activists published a paper arguing for a ban on online advertising. While largely focused on political advertising, it does make recommendations on the DSA that would impact on wider digital advertising. There has also been an admission amongst MEPs who oppose targeted advertising that there is a “growing reluctance to tackle the issue” of targeted advertising directly, thanks to lobbying efforts. 


EP BECA Report on strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer – towards a comprehensive and coordinated strategy

The EP Plenary is currently scheduled to vote on 14 February on the draft opinion approved by the EP Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) in December. The Report contains concerning proposals, which call for the probation of alcohol advertising and sponsorship of sports events (paragraph 16), and for restrictions concerning HFSS food advertising (paragraph 19). We are currently working on an amendment, which we will circulate to AIG partners shortly.


EP IMCO heard Commission's presentation of the proposal on Transparency and targeting of political advertising

On 10 January, the EP’s IMCO committee heard the Commission's presentation of the new proposal for a regulation on Transparency and targeting of political advertising. The proposed regulation aims to tackle transparency and processing of personal data, and will refer to existing governance frameworks. It introduces a very broad definition of political advertising, stating that political ads can originate from any actor and that political ads are disseminated beyond election periods.

The AIG intends to submit a response to the European Commission’s call for feedback (deadline 31 January), which will form the basis of our initial outreach to the EP. Our initial concerns are over the scope of the regulation and the definitions of political advertising captured under Article 2. We will circulate a draft to AIG partners shortly.


The French Presidency publishes its programme: focus on digital & media

On 4 January, the new French Presidency of the Council of the European Union published its programme for the next six months. The Presidency has three ambitions: a more sovereign Europe, a new European model for growth, and a humane Europe. As part of its model for growth, the French presidency aims to the growth of European digital players and sets its own rules for the digital world. In terms of policy priorities, the Presidency will continue work on the e-Privacy Regulation and begin work on the Data Act. The Presidency will also aim to progress negotiations with the EP on the DSA and contribute to advancing work on online political advertising regulation. 


Parliament’s EPP Group discussed the shortcomings of the GDPR

On 13 January, the EP’s EPP Group held a public hearing on the shortcomings of the GDPR. Several speakers highlighted the adverse impact of the regulation on competition. MEP Ilias Chantzos felt that there was too much focus on hypothetical risk, which led to unnecessary bureaucracy. MEP Axel Voss warned the EU could become a data colony for the rest of the world if the GDPR was not adapted or revised. MEP Andrea Renda also believed the GDPR was giving a competitive advantage to large tech companies which are in a better position than SMEs to capture and use large volumes of data. 


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19 January: 'The Digital Services Act and Online Freedom of Expression’, IIEA

25 January: 'Artificial Intelligence and data standards’, European Internet Forum

25 January: The Crumble of Third-Party Cookies: How to Prepare in 2022’, OneTrust

27 January: '2022 Outlook and Trends as part of the Economic Trends Forum', IAB Europe

27 January: 'CTV & Video Advertising: Growing With Standards', IAB Europe.

1 February: 'Supporting SMEs post-pandemic – How can policymakers ensure digital helps SME growth?', EURACTIV and GIGAEurope

3 February:Masters of the Digital 2022 conference’, DIGITALEUROPE 

3 February: AIG Exchange, 3-4 pm