Internet for Growth Announces Small Business Advisory Council

WASHINGTON, D.C.Internet for Growth, a nationwide coalition of small business owners and content creators who rely on digital advertising to create jobs and economic growth, has announced a new Advisory Council to guide coalition growth, member engagement, and outreach to press and policymakers about the importance of digital advertising to Main Street.

Internet for Growth was launched last year to protect essential online tools that help businesses and their customers save time and money. The coalition includes nearly 1,000 members in every state, working in fields ranging from healthcare and fitness to real estate, retail and restaurants, who are concerned about legislation and regulation in Washington, D.C. that could affect their ability to succeed.

Drew Ament, owner of Phoenix, Arizona, marketing firm Press1toTalk, will serve as Council Chairman. “Internet for Growth does an important job highlighting the role digital advertising plays in supporting small businesses across the country,” he said. “I’m thrilled to lead this council and help get the message out that millions of businesses and their customers depend on digital advertising.”

Six leading Internet for Growth members comprise the Advisory Council representing various regions of the country. Portia Prescott, a Denver, Colorado employment recruiter and co-owner of Jefferson Prescott Consulting, who uses targeted advertising and marketing to fill jobs, said the following, “Digital advertising has played a vital role in supporting my firms’ needs. As a small business owner, personalized ads give me the flexibility and precision to reach my audience and drive growth.”

Digital advertising and marketing – not only personalized, targeted advertising, but also social media, email marketing, websites, e-commerce platforms and more – became especially important to local employers and their employees during the pandemic, but could become collateral damage in Washington, as Democrats and Republicans seek to punish “Big Tech.”

“Digital advertising is low-cost compared to print, radio and TV advertising, opening doors to creativity and commerce to more people. Digital ads subsidize thousands of dollars of free content and services for every American annually. Most people appreciate the personalization and convenience of data-driven advertising. We’re working to improve the public’s understanding of a competitive and dynamic industry with widespread benefits for everyone,” said Brendan Thomas, Internet for Growth’s Executive Director.

In May, Internet for Growth members visited two dozen U.S House and Senate offices to share their personal success stories, thanks to free or low-cost, easy-to-use media and marketing platforms. They shared their concerns about well-intentioned data privacy legislation that could have unintended consequences, destroying the speed, efficiency, and relevancy of digital advertising. Internet for Growth supports a federal data privacy law to simplify a complicated patchwork of state privacy laws.

The coalition has opposed the “Banning Surveillance Advertising Act” in Congress and similar “commercial surveillance” rules from the Federal Trade Commission attacking an essential industry, and which could lead to stifling internet regulations. Internet for Growth recently challenged the AMERICA Act, another sign of a building ‘techlash’ in Washington that could reverse decades of progress to harness online opportunities for small businesses and publishers.

“Integrated ad-buying and selling platforms offer small businesses a universe of possibility to advertise online. They offer self-employed publishers and creators the ability to earn revenue from ad buyers of all sizes. Bills like the AMERICA Act would dismantle an online advertising market that’s taken decades to mature,” said Thomas. “Consumers have unprecedented selection and competitive pricing. These anti-advertising bills would raise costs in an already inflationary environment.”

Small businesses and creators interested in learning more about digital advertising issues in Washington or participating in Internet for Growth’s advocacy efforts should contact the coalition and follow Internet for Growth at Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for frequent updates.

Internet for Growth, an initiative of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, supports the transformative role the advertising-supported internet plays in empowering America’s small businesses, helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Supported by a diverse community of over 700 IAB members including marketers, agencies, publishers, platforms and ad tech providers, as well as hundreds of small businesses and creators, we highlight the benefits the internet delivers to local economies, expanding opportunities for innovators to reach markets far beyond their neighborhoods. Our work ensures people understand the limitless opportunity the internet provides for creativity and commerce, fair competition, and connecting with consumers on mutually shared values and interests, no matter the background or geography.