The Interactive Advertising Bureau is pushing against privacy legislation that gives more strength to The Federal Trade Commission. And last month during an online privacy hearing, two days after receiving a contribution from the IAB's Political Action Committee, a ranking member of a House Subcommittee stated similar fears about a more powerful FTC.
The IAB's $750 contribution to Ed Whitfield - a Kentucky Republican - was one of three the trade association made in July, bringing its total 2010 contributions to legislators and others to around $19,000. Whitfield is the top Republican on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, where its Chairman, Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, introduced his comprehensive privacy bill in July.
"I think we need to be very careful about the latitude that we give the FTC in this area," said Whitfield, during a July 22 hearing about the so-called Best Practices Act. The bill would make the FTC the regulatory guide and enforcement authority associated with rules put into place by the potential privacy law, which could have a major impact on online advertisers, particularly those using consumer data such as behavioral data to target ads.
The candidate who has received the most IAB cash this year, however, is Senator Ron Wyden, who's garnered a total of $4,900 from the IAB PAC this year. Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, sits on the Senate Finance Committee, and chairs the International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee. Wyden's reelection campaign received $2,400 from the IAB in July and $2,500 in June. According to the Federal Election Commission website, the IAB PAC has neared the $5,000 limit on contributions it can give to the candidate this election season.
Senator Ben Nelson is not up for re-election until 2012, but the Nebraska Democrat's PAC received $1,000 from the IAB committee in July. Nelson sits on the Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing. The body - which is chaired by another IAB donation recipient, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York - deals with foreign market development and domestic marketing and product promotion.
In June, the IAB PAC had its biggest month of giving ever - donating $11,000 to U.S. lawmakers and another advertising trade organization. The online ad industry's most significant trade association, the IAB is solidifying its influence on Capitol Hill as many lawmakers who influence legislation affecting the online ad industry hunt for campaign funds.
|IAB PAC Donation Recipients through July 2010|
|Recipient||Amount||Key Committee Assignment|
|Castle Campaign Fund (Michael Castle, R-DE)||$1,000||House Financial Services Committee|
|John D. Dingell for Congress (D-MI)||$1,000||House Energy and Commerce Committee|
|Gillibrand for Senate PAC (Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY)||$2,500||Senate Domestic and Foreign Marketing Subcommittee|
|Nelson 2012 PAC (Ben Nelson, D-NE)||$1,000||Senate Domestic and Foreign Marketing Subcommittee|
|Friends of Cliff Stearns (R-FL)||$1,000||House Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee|
|Committee to Re-Elect Ed Towns (D-NY)||$1,000||House Oversight and Government Reform Committee|
|Friends of Mark Warner (D-VA)||$1,000||Senate Commerce Committee|
|Whitfield for Congress Committee (Ed Whitfield, R-KY)||$750||House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee|
|Wyden for Senate (Ron Wyden, D-OR)||$4,900||Senate Finance Committee, and Int'l Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee|
|Professionals in Advertising PAC||$5,000||N/A|
|Total in 2010||$19,150||N/A|
|Source: FEC reports analyzed by ClickZ News|
UPDATE: This story has been updated to correct a statement that Senator Wyden sits on the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee; he does not.
Follow Kate Kaye on Twitter at @lowbrowkate
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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