Recent developments in the economics of online advertising program

Program (CET time)
March 24, 2022 

All lectures include 15 min of discussion and 15 min of Q&A.

 Rule is applied for this event

9:00 – 10:30
Lecture: Online Advertising and Privacy by Alexandre de Cornière, Professor, TSE 

One of the defining features of the online advertising ecosystem is the use of personal information for targeting purposes. In particular, the main advertising platforms face a strategic decision as to how much data to « share » with advertisers who participate in an ad auction. In this lecture, we will discuss the economic aspects of privacy when applied to the online advertising context. In particular, we will study how the use of personal information by advertising platforms can affect advertisers’ bidding and pricing strategies, and what impact this may have on consumer welfare.


Discussant: Kadambari Prasad, Vice President, Compass Lexecon



10:30 - 10:50 Break


10:50 – 12:20
Lecture:  The effects of advertising disclosure regulations on social media by Daniel Ershov, Professor, TSE

Consumers in many online markets rely on advice or consume content from intermediaries without compensating them directly. Examples include blogs, popular social media users (“influencers”), or larger providers of search information like Google and Amazon. Intermediaries earn money through advertising or sponsorship, directing consumers towards specific products, or creating content in return for compensation. In recent years, concerns about hidden sponsored content and misleading online advertising led to regulatory scrutiny of this market and disclosure regulations for online advertising. Theory generates ambiguous predictions about the effects of regulations on the equilibrium content and consumer welfare, but thus far there is no systematic evidence of the effects of such regulations in online markets. This lecture will present the first such evidence, using data from a large sample of Instagram influencers in Germany and Spain. We will discuss how to measure whether an Instagram post is sponsored or disclosed using machine learning techniques. We will then evaluate the effects of changing German regulations on disclosure, the amount of sponsorship, and consumer engagement on Instagram. We will also discuss broader policy implications.


Discussant: Vilen Lipatov, Expert, CompetitionSphere



12:20 – 13:40 Lunch break


13:40 - 15:10
Lecture: Search advertising by Alexandre de Cornière, Professor, TSE

Search advertising is one of the most important innovations of the digital revolution. With this format, used by Google and Amazon among others, advertisers can place bids on certain keywords, and appear on consumers’ screens precisely when they are looking for specific products. In this lecture, we will study the impact of such a targeting technology on efficiency and product market competition, but also the various distortions introduced by a monopolistic platform. We will also discuss the effects of platform competition.


Discussant: Xavier Boutin, Founding Partner, Positive Competition



15:10 – 15:30 Break


15:30 – 17:00
Policy session: Should we have a (targeted) ban on targeted advertising?
Moderated byJavier Espinoza, EU Correspondent, Financial Times.

Christian D'Cunha, Policy officer, Cybersecurity and digital privacy unit, DG Connect, European Commission
Amelia Fletcher, Professor, University of East Anglia
Eliana Garces, Director, Economic Policy, Meta
Agustín Reyna, Director of Legal and Economic Affairs, European Consumer Association (BEUC)
Paul Tang, Senior Member of the European Parliament and co-founder of the Tracking-free Ads Coalition in the EU Parliament


Program PDF

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