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Guest Blog Post: A Free and Open Internet Supports America’s Small Businesses

This past Saturday was Small Business Saturday, a day designed to highlight the important role that America’s small businesses play in the U.S. economy. This holiday season, as shoppers support local and small businesses, we should remember the role that the digital advertising community plays in helping to boost small business and promote fair commerce. Enabling that choice and ensuring consumers continue to have a breadth of options is a key benefit of our online technology ecosystem. Companies such as Turn help keep the internet free, open and competitive.

The vibrant ecosystem that supports small business online is built on a foundation of small publishers, offering consumers far more diversity of content than can be provided solely by their larger media rivals. Advertising revenues are often these “mom and pop” small businesses’ sole source of income. And, smaller sites are often a critical venue for small and local businesses to advertise their products and services.

NAI member companies nurture the long-term health of the online ecosystem by providing the foundation for a thriving and diverse market of ad-supported free content and services. Small publishers rely on third parties, such as analytics vendors, to understand the popularity of the content they publish. Third-party advertising technology companies help create publisher revenues to pay staff salaries and overhead. These third parties aggregate the content created by millions of small publishers and offer media buyers a reach of advertising opportunities that is comparable to that provided by large, vertically integrated publishers. As members of NAI, these third parties preserve consumer trust by committing themselves to a high standard for responsible data collection and use. NAI member companies comply with NAI’s tough Code of Conduct and must provide users a means to opt-out of Interest-Based Advertising via the NAI opt-out tool.

Turn takes a leading role in helping develop the self-regulatory privacy regulations required to protect the interests of consumers, while simultaneously protecting the interests of small businesses. We believe in creating fair and honest marketplaces and in respecting the privacy rights of consumers. The Internet thrives on diversity and competition. Ensuring startups and small businesses can continue to offer competitive products and services to consumers is vital to supporting our nation’s vibrant economic ecosystem. So this holiday season, let’s remember the important role each of us plays in maintaining the free and open digital environment that keeps small businesses open year round.

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