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What Does a Biden-Harris Administration Mean for Performance Marketing?

What Does a Biden-Harris Administration Mean for Performance Marketing?

President Biden is beginning to give some visibility into the changes he intends to make to the departments that enforce the laws that most closely impact performance marketing. His approach is first becoming clear at the two agencies most closely tied to performance marketing: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The CFPB was the first agency to see a change under the new administration with Biden’s nomination of the FTC’s Rohit Chopra to lead the department (the current CFPB head, Kathy Kraninger, has already announced her resignation). The CFPB was the subject of multiple lawsuits at the start of the Trump administration, with the courts ultimately determining that the President may fire the CFPB head at their discretion. CFPB enforcement activities slowed dramatically under the Trump administration, and it seems clear that Biden intends a reversal of that trend.

Rohit Chopra is currently serving on the FTC and previously led enforcement related to student lending at the CFPB. He is a clear advocate for consumer protection and it would be reasonable to expect increased consumer protection activities should he be confirmed to lead the CFPB. Lending practices generally will be under a sharper eye, as will lending practices that tie in some way to the pandemic.

On Thursday, Biden announced his first change to the FTC, appointing existing commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as interim Chairperson. The Trump-appointed chair, Joe Simons, announced his resignation on Wednesday. Biden has yet to announce a replacement for Rohit Chopra who is leaving the FTC to lead the CFPB. These changes shift the commissioners from a Republican majority to a Democratic majority. 

It appears that the FTC will continue to pursue the antitrust actions against big tech started in the Trump era and consumer privacy also seems likely to be a large focus of their efforts given that Slaughter has been a vocal advocate for consumer privacy.  Whether the FTC also steps up it’s focus on influencers and performance marketing is yet to be determined, but I certainly wouldn’t expect less focus…

While the impacts of the Biden-Harris administration on performance marketing are yet to be fully understood, the early moves of the administration certainly suggest a stronger focus on consumer lending, consumer privacy and very likely a focus on appropriate disclosures in marketing.

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David Naffziger

David Naffziger is CEO of BrandVerity, a provider of brand protection and affiliate compliance tools to affiliate managers, agencies and networks. BrandVerity’s PoachMark product provides deep insight into the paid search activity of competitors, affiliates and partners while providing a suite of tools for taking action to enforce trademark rights within the search engines and through affiliate networks. Prior to BrandVerity, David was VP of Engineering at Judy’s Book a Seattle-based local search company. Prior to Judy’s Book, David co-founded and was Director of Research at Quova (acquired by Neustar). David received his BS from MIT.

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