Understanding ‘Pay or Consent’ Ad Models: What You Need to Know 

Last Updated 09/04/2024

Have you heard about Meta’s new approach to ads? They’re giving users a choice: either pay for an ad-free experience or opt in to personalized ads. It’s a significant move that’s sparking debate across the AdTech industry. Let’s take a look at why it matters. 

The shift in strategy 

Initially, Meta tried to justify the use of personal data for ads by claiming it was necessary. Regulators didn’t buy it. Next, they argued that they had a ‘legitimate interest’ in showing you personalized ads. That didn’t work either, especially after a backlash from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. 

Now Meta is trying something new in the EEA. They’re offering users a choice between either getting ad-free services for a fee or having to provide consent to personalized advertising. But here’s the catch: Is it really fair to make you choose between your privacy and your wallet? 

Why this matters to you 

This isn’t just about Meta. It’s about the future of online advertising and how companies like yours can navigate the tricky waters of user consent and privacy. Here’s what you need to keep in mind: 

Consent must be free: If you’re asking users to agree to their data being used for advertising, that consent must be genuine. They should feel that they have a real choice, not trapped between a rock and a hard place. 

Clear communication is key: Make sure you’re transparent about how you use data. Your privacy notices should be as clear as daylight, explaining why you need the data and what you’re going to do with it. 

One size doesn’t fit all: Just because Meta’s under the microscope doesn’t mean your business is. The impact of your data practices depends on your size and the nature of your data processing. Smaller companies often have more leeway. 

Rethink your ad strategies: With privacy concerns on the rise, consider less invasive advertising methods. Contextual advertising, for example, can be a more privacy-friendly way to reach your audience. 

Feeling overwhelmed? 

It’s a lot to take in, we know. If you are unsure of what are the best practices for your company and how you can show ads or track your users in a data protection compliant way, LEXR can guide you and ensure you are set on the right path with our customized privacy policies, as well as in-depth data protection compliance assessments

Contact us today and let’s make sure your advertising strategies are not only effective, but also respectful of user privacy. After all, your customers’ trust is the cornerstone of your success. 

By Francisco Arga e Lima

Junior Legal Counsel


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