Coalition for Digital Ads - Charter of Principles - December 2021

The Coalition for Digital Ads (CDA) supports thousands of SMEs that power Europe’s economy. Established by members of SME Connect in November 2021, CDA gives a voice to concerns over the EU draft proposals to initiate restrictions on personalised digital advertising across the EU and the impact a ban could have on SMEs, thus providing a necessary balance in an important debate.

CDA is calling on EU policymakers to:

  1. Reject a ban on personalised online advertising
  2. Boost transparency and trust across the digital ads ecosystem
  3. Engage with SMEs to develop workable proposals that won’t cost jobs

The Coalition for Digital Ads believes that digital and targeted advertising provides European businesses with a great benefit which helps them find new audiences and allows them to capitalize on new customer bases and opportunities. Digital advertising is of paramount importance and, as the recent global pandemic has shown, EU businesses would not have survived the COVID-19 crisis if they could not effectively connect with their customers online.

This charter of principles describes the values and goals of the Coalition for Digital Ads, its participants and supporters, as well as important operational rules.

  1. The Coalition for Digital Ads was established by SME Connect, a network of SMEs and their supporters. SME Connect is a non-political organisation but is advised by a non-profit board of politicians and global political stakeholders. SME Connect seeks to maximise the impact of SMEs on the EU level.
  2. SME Connect’s president, EU board, global board and panel of special advisors are listed on the SME Connect website.
  3. The SME Connect board allows for joint cooperation and a representation of common positions while allowing members independence in respect of activities and interests.
  4. SME Connect’s membership consists of SME associations, general business associations, SME business projects and SME initiatives, such as the Coalition for Digital Ads, the European Small Business Club and Friends of SMEs.
  5. These members pay a subscription free to be part of SME Connect.
  6. SME Connect is committed to transparency regarding its membership. All members of SME Connect initiatives are listed on the SME Connect website.
  7. At present Friends of SMEs members include a wide variety of corporations, multinational companies, universities, think tanks and other interest groups.
  8. The Friends of SMEs also make a financial contribution to the network. However they are precluded from initiating working groups or initiatives such as the Coalition for Digital Ads. They can only choose to collaborate on existing initiatives.
  9. The Coalition for Digital Ads was initiated by Free Trade Europa, European Business Connect, EWS, ZPP (Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers), Core Values and the Taxpayers Association of Europe.
  10. The Coalition for Digital Ads has partnered with Danish Entrepreneurs, Developers Alliance, Infobalt Lithuania, Startup Foundation, European Enterprise Alliance and the Slovak Alliance for Innovation Economy (SAPIE).
  11. The Coalition for Digital Ads activities are agreed between initiators and partners. The financial supporters of SME Connect have no influence on the activities of the Coalition for Digital Ads.
  12. All decisions and opinions pursued by the Coalition for Digital Ads are agreed upon within the group’s secretariat as part of the mandate provided by partners and initiators.

Journalist Information:

SME Connect is a network which brings together SMEs from across Europe and gives them a platform to engage with issues in Brussels. All members pay a fee and can participate in our working groups and initiatives.

The CDA is one such initiative and was instigated by a number of our members. Its activity is driven by the initiators with the support of the SME Connect secretariat.

SME Connect facilitates dialogue and engagement amongst members and other interested parties through a number of programs.

Friends of SMEs allow supportive companies, universities, think tanks and other interest groups to come together and engage with SME Connect members. They support SMEs in their interest to cut red tape and create a more business friendly environment with fair competition.

Friends of SMEs are required to pay a fee, however they are precluded from initiating working groups and initiatives and have no say in the day to say running of SME Connect.

SME Connect also runs the European Small Business Club whose members are Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises with up to 250 employees and companies with up to 500 employees. The Club allows members to better understand the EU, formulate common interests and gain a better understanding of the positions of other stakeholders.

All members follow the principle of the “honest merchant” - this old European expression stands for value-oriented trading values and a personal commitment to fair business practices that respect and benefit the society.

Supporters of SME Connect are listed on the Transparency Register. Members of SME Connect are listed on our website. Initiators and partners of the CDA are available on its microsite.