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November 4, 2009

[iab] Alain Heureux on regulating marketing

I’m at IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) in Milan. The Europe-wide president of IAB, Alain Heureux, is giving a talk that includes a section on the self-regulatory mechanisms IAB is proposing as it watches Brussels begin to formulate policy.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

Alain goes through the following “road map”:

1. Opt out. It’d be a burden on the user to ask for opt in for IP addresses and cookies, so it’s important that there always be opt-out mechanisms. There could and should be centralized pages that explain exactly what the various types of cookies are, what they’re used for, and that give users the ability to turn them on or off.

2. Education and transparency. There should be sites [built by IAB?] that educate the public and that are completely transparent about the practices.

3. Good practices and codes of conduct.

4. Communication.

5. Research. Alain points to a survey of 32,000 customers across Europe (the MCDC), and a consumer benefits study that tries to quantify the economic value that users are getting at all those free sites we love so much.

By the way, attendance at the Italian IAB (pronounced “yob”) continues to increase. It started 7 years ago with 300 people, and this year there are 7,000 attendees, which is up 20% over last year. Pretty impressive given the state of the economy.