DAA Warns That Mozilla Decision Threatens Diverse, Free Internet Content

WASHINGTON – June 20, 2013 – Mozilla’s decision to summarily block the vast majority of third-party cookies for all of its users threatens to destabilize an advertising ecosystem that supports free content and services relied upon by hundreds of millions of Internet users worldwide, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) warned today.

Beyond jeopardizing the amount and quality of content available to users, the plan also threatens to immediately diminish the user experience, by breaking services and tools upon which online businesses and users depend.

Mozilla’s plan effectively chooses winners and losers in the digital media marketplace, ensuring that a handful of large content providers retain the capacity to use the full range of Internet technologies to communicate with users, while systems that support smaller content providers, such as independent community and hobbyist blogs, are left out in the cold. Ultimately, this arrangement will hurt both large and small content providers by weakening the competitive marketplace and undermining the value of advertising.

“We are extremely troubled that a single company feels justified in altering the competitive landscape of the Internet, not just for its own customers, but for all Internet users,” said Lou Mastria, managing director of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). “We had hoped Mozilla would continue to work with industry toward a solution which preserves the ad-supported free Internet content that users overwhelmingly demand.”

The Mozilla decision is particularly troubling in light of the continued growth and improvement of the DAA’s international self-regulatory program, which already provides every Internet user in the United States – and a growing number around the world – the opportunity to control how and whether advertisers use third-party cookies to serve them interest-based ads.

The DAA program lets users choose for themselves whether or not they want to take advantage of the benefits that Interest-based advertising provides. In a Zogby poll conducted earlier this year, 75 percent of consumers said they wanted to make their own decisions about relevant ads, compared to just 11 percent who wanted to leave that decision to their browser maker.

Neither Congress, nor law enforcement, nor any government agency have asked for the draconian measures that Mozilla is planning to implement.

“Browser developers like Mozilla are enormously powerful, and as such bear an enormous responsibility for upholding the future of the Internet,” said DAA general counsel Stuart Ingis. “Stifling innovation in the advertising marketplace has direct, negative results on advertisers’ abilities to support diverse Internet content. By the time users start feeling the serious damaging effects of that stagnation, it may be too late to reverse it.”

About The DAA Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising
The DAA Self-Regulatory Program (https://youradchoices.com) for Online Behavioral Advertising was launched in 2010 by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) (https://digitaladvertisingalliance.org/), a consortium of the nation's largest media and marketing associations including the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI). These associations and their thousands of members are committed to developing effective self-regulatory solutions to consumer choice for web viewing data.

Back to Top