This year as executives from the world’s biggest brands and ad agencies gathered on the French Riviera for the annual Cannes Lions advertising festival, Facebook and Google, which control the majority of all digital advertising, are facing unprecedented scrutiny.
Governments around the world are looking to hold these two giants — called the “digital duopoly” — accountable for the content posted on their platforms and for the way they protect users data.
The other question, posed by a number of Democratic presidential candidates: Should Facebook and Google be broken up? These potential regulatory challenges come as executives from around the world meet to discuss where to invest the $600 billion expected to be spent on advertising worldwide this year.
The largest companies in the industry teamed up to announce a new “Alliance for Responsible Content” at this year’s festival. Sixteen of the world’s largest advertisers along with the ad agencies and tech platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Google — are working to create standards for what’s considered appropriate content and expectations of how they’ll prevent offensive and inappropriate content from surfacing.
This comes as Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., proposes new legislation that would remove the tech companies’ protection from liability from the content on their platforms by overhauling Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.