Shaping the choices that matter

Shaping the choices that matter

The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.


Blog piece by Dave Barron

No-one would argue that, across the digital advertising community, we find ourselves in the embrace of a time of great change and opportunity. We are at one of those precious turning points, where diverse stakeholders are pushing together to secure the freedoms and possibilities associated with a largely free, open, pluralistic, and ad-supported internet ecosystem.

In today’s world, we must associate the term “ad-supported” with “ad-choice supported”.  EDAA has an impressive history of empowering all internet users with the means to enact meaningful actions over their online advertising preferences. With this experience and know-how, EDAA’s vision is that the future of online advertising must become even more consumer-centric than it is today. It must be built on the premise of transparency, responsibility and openness towards the consumer. And it is in this very mindset that the EDAA is gearing up to set the bar of meaningful self-regulation in the field of data privacy to new heights.

First off, let’s take stock as there’s simply so much going on.

The industry is on the precipice of great change. As we search to identify and implement innovative self-regulatory solutions that build on a great deal of effort and a great many achievements to-date, we do so in the context of:

  • a changing European consumer, whose demands and expectations are on the rise – an online-savvy, empowered, aware and well-informed consumer.
  • highly engaged European regulators, challenging the norms and status quo through developing a truly comprehensive and interconnected legislative framework – with the DSA (Digital Services Act) being the latest in a string of regulations heavily impacting the digital advertising industry.
  • a global revolution in how internet technologies are developed and deployed – with a proliferation of online privacy and ID solutions providers, taking confident strides towards a cookieless future whilst enabling new, exciting and privacy-differentiated services.
  • a socially responsible drive from brands that are ever-conscious over brand image, personality and reputation, and ensuring this is safeguarded online – holding their partners to account and requiring trustworthy and certified ad delivery and data privacy solutions.

EDAA has a key role to play. This role is in shaping self-regulatory solutions that support companies in putting the consumer first and responding to an updated European legislative landscape. But EDAA’s role is also as a steward of best practice, which requires a distinctly collective and collaborative industry-wide effort.

Opportunity and change inevitably bring diverse interests to the fore. Yet we firmly hold that successful solutions across the digital ad industry require both industry-wide and pan-European (often even global) collaboration. In these areas, EDAA excels.

In this light, we’re thrilled to have an opportunity on 15 November 2021, to bring together a multi-stakeholder audience for our annual EDAA Summit, where we’ll be debating all the above. The theme of “coming together” will be central to the day, not least to celebrate the reopening of face-to-face opportunities, but to connect with our inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach to the debates that are of utmost importance to our members and participating companies.

When I look back to that opening quote:

The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

I cannot help to think that standing together, with pride in what has been achieved, yet also optimism in what lies ahead, and the willpower to set our sights high despite risk of failure, we can avoid sidestepping into the abyss, with fear and trepidation. We must, and we will, rather embrace the challenge, or perhaps more accurately, embrace this unique opportunity.

We look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming event. In fact, we welcome and we challenge you, to:

  • be part of the solution
  • set the bar high

and join us in this crucial juncture in our collective self-regulatory journey.