MARCO ISLAND, FL — After taking a swipe at one of the world’s biggest tech companies for hurting advertising, digital advertising’s umbrella body has urged the company to become a member.

Following his speech at his Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM), IAB CEO David Cohen told Beet.TV Apple should get “to the table to work with the industry”. He was interviewed by Beet’s contributor Mike Shields.

It comes after a variety of consumer measures introduced by Apple limited advertisers’ ability to use digital ad identifiers.

Attacking Apple

In his on-stage ALM speech, Cohen had said:

“Apple exemplifies the cynicism and hypocrisy that underpins the prevailing extremist view.

“Apple is fine with advertising, as long as they get to control it on their terms. (Apple is) attacking (the industry) from the inside out.”

Later, he explained to Beet.TV: “We are living today with about 50% reduced signal from folks like Apple and others.”

‘Come to the table’

One of the digital ad industry’s biggest challenges is compensating for Apple’s measures.

“If I were to think about a single company that has been so vocal about the negativity around advertising, it’s been Apple,” Cohen says.

“ATT (App Tracking Transparency) was rolled out a while ago. These are conversations that have been happening behind closed doors. We wanted to bring it out into the open.

“My hope is that, from this point forward, we get Apple to the table to work with the industry and, if that happens, we will have achieved a momentous thing.

“The invitation is open. We want them to come, become an IAB member, lean in, engage. I hope that will happen. I’ll reach out to them directly after a ALM to see if we could start that.”

Fighting against worry

But Apple is not the only thing on Cohen’s mind.

He acknowledges “significant headwinds” in the industry, with “so many things that we have to worry about”, including the business climate and “a lot of negativity in Washington” toward digital privacy matters.

He is coming out standing for what he says are the contributions digital advertising make to “society, the economy and the world”.

And he wants to differentiate big tech players, which are both suffering job losses and coming under regulatory pressure, from those which he says enable a “free and open internet that supports millions of small businesses”.

Cohen’s IAB has campaigned for a single national US privacy legislation, which it thinks would be more workable than a “patchwork” of state laws. But Cohen is sanguine that, for a new Congress which took 15 negotiating rounds just to elect a new speaker, passage for that law this year is uncertain.

ANA Hopes New Congress Enacts Federal Privacy Law

You’re watching “What’s Next: Scaling CTV Through Industry Collaboration,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at IAB ALM 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.