Google will not finance online regulation

ISBA Conference; Internet application brands such as Google should not pay to subsidise regulation, even though a few dominant brands are making most of the revenue from online advertising, the annual ISBA conference heard this morning (Wednesday 4th March)

Executives from Google and digital media agency i-level sought to quash suggestions that the broadcast model, whereby agencies pay a levy to the Advertising Standards Authority to subsidise self-regulation, can be replicated online.

ASA director general and information commissioner designate Christopher Graham asked a panel, which included Google UK country director Matt Brittin and i-level founding partner Andrew Walmsley, how companies such as Google should “share in the heavy lifting involved in future proofing” regulation.

Brittin replied: There is a need to provide a source of funding to pay for regulation going forward, but the levy is not for Google to fund, its for advertisers to fund as they do already.”

Last Minute European marketing director Simon Thompson, who was chairing the panel debate and stressed he was speaking in a personal capacity, referred to the European Commission which is currently looking at behavioural targeting by online advertisers and said the industry should not let people who do not understand online advertising “kill the goose that has laid the golden egg.”

Graham concluded his comments self-regulation would not happen if “the necessary funds cannot be found.”

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