Home > All, General Rants > The European Parliament’s Draft Report on the impact of advertising on consumer behaviour

The European Parliament’s Draft Report on the impact of advertising on consumer behaviour

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

First off, this is not a report on something; it’s a proposal to do something. I do wish these overpaid bureaucrats would get things right.

However, and finally, the European Parliament, in the name of Philippe Juvin and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, has seen sense. Since Europe has proven incapable of defeating spammers, it is switching to aiding and abetting them.

A new Draft Report on the impact of advertising on consumer behaviour

Calls on the Commission to (among other things)

  • require advertisements sent by e-mail to contain an automatic link enabling the recipient to refuse all further advertising;

So here’s my plan. I’m going to keep sending you legitimate adverts for silly things. But in accordance with EU requirements, I shall place the following at the bottom of each mail:

We do our best to offer you useful and attractive goods at the very best possible value. We hope you agree. However, if you decide that you no longer wish to receive our offers, in accordance with EU law, you can visit our website (clickhereandwevegotyou.com) and click the Unsubscribe (Gotcha) button. This will prevent any further correspondence from us.

Nevertheless, despite this silly suggestion, the draft report is designed to counter the threat of ‘unfair advertising practices’; and that in itself cannot be bad. But here’s another proposal:

The European Parliament,

Having regard to this and that, and whereas this and bearing in mind that,

  • Deplores the development of ‘hidden’ internet advertising that is not covered by the UCPD (C2C relationships), in the form of comments posted on social networks, forums and blogs, the content of which is difficult to distinguish from mere opinion;
  • Suggests that the Member States encourage the emergence of forum observers/moderators who are alert to the dangers of hidden advertising;

Is this proposal really suggesting that Member States encourage the emergence of some form of thought police to patrol social networks and decide whether someone’s opinion is not just an opinion but a devious form of hidden advertising? Jesus wept!

And despite interfering and poking its nose where it doesn’t belong, the report simply fudges the really important issue where it should be clear. Behavioural advertising. It should simply say that there must be no behavioural advertising without the full,  informed and active approval of the target. Instead, it fudges the issue:

  • Voices its concern about the routine use of behavioural advertising and the development of intrusive advertising practices (such as reading the content of emails, using social networks and geolocation, and retargeted advertising);

Is this document a serious proposal (in which case Phillipe Juvin should be deselected from the European Parliament for wasting taxpayers’ money), or is it largely a PR exercise designed to show off Phillipe Juvin’s Leftist credentials (in which case Phillipe Juvin should be deselected from the European Parliament for wasting taxpayers’ money)? Either way, I hope someone with a bit of a clue gets to redraft it before it goes too far.

DRAFT REPORT on the impact of advertising on consumer behaviour (2010/2052(INI))

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