The Changing Business Environment in Advertising

The Global Challenges faced by the Technology Transition

In July 2011 the SRDA center organized a roundtable in the “Cercle Gaulois” in Brussels, aiming at identifying the currently ongoing transformations in online advertising and their role to regulatory questions.

With the internet turning more and more traditional markets into online economies, industry is faced with increasing global challenges dealing with everything from privacy concerns to commercial communications in these online environments.

The emerging markets are based upon a new approach utilizing search engines, portals, platforms, and new technologies to develop consumer profiles, targeted communications along with algorithm-based product recommendations. This is developing into one of this decade’s focal points when it comes to political debates and future market strategies globally.

Driven by the general shift towards an online economy – as well as the role of regulation within this shift – industry and its utilization of these potential online resources represent a major transition effecting markets, societies and states. The conundrum presents itself as revenues enable uncountable content providers to put traditional and new content and services online, while on the other hand these markets as well as relevant connected markets often are considered oligopolies and profiling services infringing one’s privacy.

The SRDA workshop has been organised to identify the challenges ahead for all stakeholders focussing at three areas:

  • Markets & Practice (scale effects in online environments, combined market power, market entry, possible new or existing bottlenecks, current practices in profiling, data aggregation and security, transparency and opt-out measures)
  • Consumer risks (privacy and data protection issues, secrecy of communication, free flow of information, future role of privacy)
  • Role of regulation (legal framework and its application on new forms of online communications and marketing, traditional regulation as appropriate measures to address current developments, risks and drawbacks of regulation, possible new forms of governance)


The EP Report on the Impact of Advertising on Consumer Behavior and the Regulatory Implications
Spyros Pappas, Attorney at Law, former director general in the European Commission

The Transition to an Online Environment: Online Economies and Online Advertising
Michael Bartholomew

Governing Dynamic Markets, Incentivizing Players: The Regulatory Toolbox
Stephan Dreyer, Senior Researcher at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research

The Era of Big Date – Assessing and Evaluating Trends and Issues in  Global Markets and the Evolving Strength of Online Technologies
Dr. Arthur Pober, Senior Research Fellow of the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future in California

SRDA’s activities: Expert round table

Project term: Feb 2011 – Dec 2011

Funding: own funding