Parliamentary Roundtable: Funding the internet responsibly

IAB UK

Earlier this year the IAB hosted an event giving everyone working in Parliament a chance to learn about how online advertising actually works, explaining what types of digital ad exist, how they work and how the industry is regulated.

Continuing with our political outreach, last week we returned to Parliament to host a breakfast roundtable, bringing politicians together with members of our Board to discuss the state of the industry, the challenges it faces and reasons to be cheerful.

The IAB presented our own research on public perceptions of online advertising, reminding Parliamentarians and policy-makers how essential the ad-funded internet is to people’s lives, and showing them that not only do people find online ads useful – the vast majority would prefer to have free ad-funded access to than have to pay for online services. You can read this research here

We continued to talk about how government should seek to regulate in a flexible and agile way for a digital age and improve its digital strategy, both through greater coordination on its approach to digital issues, and by ensuring that regulation is designed not just for ‘big tech’ but in a way that takes into account the multitude of company types and sizes operating in our sector.

We concluded the session by discussing the challenge of policing and safe-guarding the internet when many of the problems faced are international in nature. The IAB’s Gold Standard initiative was recognised for its work in helping improve standards in the industry, particularly as two of its three component initiatives are global. There was agreement that increasing the number of advertisers insisting on companies they work with being Gold Standard certified would be a positive step for the industry.

Although the roundtable covered some of the problems in the industry and the challenges we are dealing with, our members and political attendees alike left in good spirits, optimistic about the opportunities for the UK to be both a world leader in digital policy and a global hub for digital advertising for years to come.

The IAB will be continuing to engage policy-makers on how to ensure online advertising is sustainable. If you would like to feed in to those discussions or would like to our regular policy emails, then please get in contact at policy@iabuk.com

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