Microsoft chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch’s recent blog post recommitting the company to a default “do not track” setting for Internet Explorer 10 will be regarded by the ad industry as a death warrant for Microsoft Advertising.Lynch argued that, when asked, most consumers prefer to browse in private rather than be tracked with cookies by the advertisers who want to target them. That may be true, but online advertising is only useful to advertisers—and the publishers who take in $35 billion in web ads annually—if they can target their ads properly. And for that, they need tracking.
Lynch, however, just told the ad business to drop dead:
In short, we agree with those who say this is all about user choice. However, we respectfully disagree with those who argue that the default setting for DNT should favour tracking as opposed to privacy.
He also took the contradictory position of saying that Microsoft welcomed ongoing discussion, but that discussion wasn’t going to change the company’s mind.
Microsoft Advertising has already been devastated by the decision. Its executives were subjected to an embarrassing set of meetings at the Cannes Lions festival in June, at which ad execs expressed their displeasure at the move.
The unit then laid off a whole bunch of people amid rumours that the company would exit the ad business altogether. Microsoft Advertising is part of the company’s online unit, which lost $8.1 billion last year.
Lynch’s new note appears to seal Microsoft Advertising’s fate: The company is not interested in appeasing the clients who spend $2.8 billion a year on its properties, according to the company’s annual report.
- MICROSOFT ADVERTISING LAYOFFS: A Look At The Damage
- SOURCE: Microsoft May Abandon The Ad Business Over IE10 Fiasco
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.