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IAB Slams Bill That Would Eliminate Data-Driven Advertising

IAB Testifies Before Senate Commerce Committee Examining Big Data and COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) slammed a sweeping bill, the “Banning Surveillance Advertising Act,” that would effectively eliminate internet advertising in the United States, jeopardizing an estimated 17 million jobs primarily at small- and medium-sized businesses.

“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,” said IAB CEO David Cohen, who leads the organization of more than 700 media companies, brands, agencies, and technology firms. “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.”

He pointed to a recent IAB study, The Economic Impact of the Market-Making Internet, showing the internet economy grew seven times faster than the total U.S. economy from 2016 to 2020 and accounts for 12% of gross domestic product. Of the 17 million internet-related jobs the study cites, small- and medium-sized firms are responsible for the largest share.

“Banning personalized ads would severely impact an increasingly important economic sector, stifling innovation and dramatically harming the small business community who use data-driven advertising to promote their goods and services and reach customers all over the world,” said Cohen. “This bill 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,” he said. “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,” said Cohen.

To join IAB and support its public affairs efforts, visit

About IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership comprises more than 700 leading media companies, brands, agencies, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contacts
Kate Tumino / Brittany Tibaldi
212-896-1252 / 347-487-6794
[email protected]/ [email protected]