After IAB Donation, Congressman Voiced Group’s Worries on Stronger FTC

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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