IAB CEO David Cohen
In an online media release yesterday, digital ad industry trade group Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) voiced its opposition to the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act (BSAA) which 3 Democratic legislators introduced into Congress earlier this week.
IAB CEO David Cohen said:
“If the sponsors understood the devastating effects this bill would have, not only on the advertising industry, but also on our entire economy, they wouldn’t have introduced it. Data-driven digital advertising is the heart of online commerce, representing an ever-increasing share of U.S. GDP. It also drives the increasing diversity of products and services consumers rely on for information, education, entertainment and connectivity.”
As evidence of the strategic importance of internet commerce to the US economy, Mr. Cohen cited an economic-impact study published by IAB in October which showed that between 2016 and 2020 the internet economy grew at 7X the rate of the overall US economy, and accounted for 12% of GDP as well as 17M jobs, the majority in SMBs.
Mr. Cohen went on to say that enactment of BSAA would:
"...make advertising less precise, more expensive, and raise costs for everyone. Everything from online retail to the new ‘creator’ economy could cease to exist. This terrible bill would disenfranchise businesses that advertise on the Internet, and hundreds of millions of Americans who use it every day to find exactly what they need, quickly. It could eliminate the commercial internet almost entirely. Reasonable and responsible data use provides tremendous benefits to consumers, the economy, and society, ensuring our nation’s competitive position globally...”
David Cohen joined IAB as CEO in 2020. He previously served as President, North America for Interpublic Group's MAGNA unit where he was responsible for $20B+ in annual media spend, and before that held C-level positions at global media and ad giant Universal McCann.
IAB is a membership organization of 700+ media companies, brands, agencies and tech firms which since 1996 has been conducting research on interactive advertising, educating the wider business community on the importance of digital advertising, and promoting the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers.