Meta’s ad-free service targeted in EU complaints; US judge blocks TikTok ban in Montana; Advertisers unlikely to return to X 

In today’s ExchangeWire digest: Meta’s ad-free service targeted in EU complaints; US judge blocks TikTok ban in Montana; Advertisers unlikely to return to X…

Meta’s ad-free service targeted in EU complaints 

Meta’s advertising-free subscription service for Facebook and Instagram, currently being rolled out, has so far been met with resistance in Europe. European users are now faced with a choice of paying for a subscription, or being tracked and served personalised ads. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has filed a complaint to the network of consumer protection authorities, calling Meta out for breaching EU consumer law. Ursula Pachl, BEUC’s deputy director general, accused the tech giant of “using unfair, deceptive and aggressive practices”, while providing misleading and incomplete information. 

Meanwhile, advocacy group NOYB has filed a complaint with the Austrian data protection authority, saying that Meta’s new service amounts to paying a fee to ensure privacy. Under EU law, consent to online tracking and personalised ads are only valid if “freely given” in order to ensure that users only give up their right to privacy if it’s their genuine will. 

US judge blocks TikTok ban in Montana 

Back in May, Montana was the first US state to pass a bill banning TikTok. The law was due to come into effect next month at the start of the new year, and would have made it illegal for app stores to offer the platform. Now, US district judge Donald Malloy has stepped in to block the bill, saying the ban “violates the Constitution” and “oversteps state power”.   

Advertisers unlikely to return to X 

It has been a turbulent time for X since many big advertisers made the decision to suspend their ads on the platform. Musk took a defiant stance against those advertisers at the DealBrook Summit last week in New York, insulting them with an expletive and telling them not to advertise on the platform. Many marketing agencies have advised brands to cease all advertising on X from this point onwards, and expect brands’ temporary pauses to turn into permanent ones. Some marketers have also advised brands to stop posting on the platform altogether.

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Fact of the day 

On average, TikTok users spend 22.9 hours per month on the app. 

Source: Hootsuite