Thursday, March 15, 2007
The IAB Urges Congress to Protect Consumer's Access to Free Online Information and Entertainment

Industry Best Practices Eliminate Many of the Problems Identified by Proposed Legislation

NEW YORK, NY (March 15, 2007) - The Interactive Advertising Bureau, the leading trade association for the Interactive media industry, today urged Congress to protect consumers' access to information and entertainment on the Internet, and to guard against interest-group pressure to pass ill-considered "spyware" legislation that would hinder Internet commerce and the free exchange of information.

The IAB was among several organizations testifying today at the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection's legislative hearing on H.R. 964, the Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (SPY Act). Dave Morgan, the founder and chairman of TACODA, a leading internet marketing and media company and chairman of the IAB Public Policy Council, told House members that the proposed "Spyware" legislation could curtail consumer choice and hinder the growth of advertising that is proving one of the Internet's economic underpinnings.

"Spyware is both bad for consumers and the industry," said Mr. Morgan. "Not only can it infect consumer's machines with malicious software and potentially remove consumers' ability to exercise choice on their computers, but equally as concerning, is its ability to erode consumer confidence and undermine valid online advertising models."

While lauding Congress's desire to protect Americans' privacy and choice, Mr. Morgan warned Congress that "there is always a risk that legislation that governs complicated technology could result in limiting and/or stifling innovation." He continued, "We want to ensure that the availability of free content online continues to grow and that consumers receive the richest, most relevant Internet experience, without unduly burdening the advertising engine that makes these websites run."

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of IAB, described the Interactive and online advertising industry as a "primary means of support for cost-free, rich Internet content, as well as free access to unparalleled products and services. Such advertising has lowered barriers to market entry, enabling new businesses, both small and large, to thrive."

Mr. Rothenberg added: "This legislation, while well intended, deserves a fresh look by this new Congress. As digital media consumption grows, the industry is increasingly responsive to consumers, and devoted to protecting their privacy, while delivering new, innovative services that improve their lives.

About the IAB:

Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents over 300 leading interactive companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of Interactive advertising. IAB members are responsible for selling over 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields Interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

 

IAB Contact
Marla Nitke
Director, Marketing Communications
212.380.4714
[email protected]