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CFPB Takes Aim at Digital Marketing Providers

On August 10, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule to address digital marketing providers that commingle the targeting and delivery of advertisements to consumers, such as by using algorithmic models or other analytics, with the provision of advertising “time or space”. According to the Bureau, digital marketers that are involved in the identification or selection of prospective customers or the selection or placement of content to affect consumer behavior are typically service providers for purposes of the law. Digital marketers acting as service providers can be held liable by the CFPB or other law enforcers for committing unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”) as well as other consumer financial protection violations.

In its press release, the CFPB compares digital marketing to traditional advertising. Whereas traditional advertising relied on getting a product or service out to as wide an audience as possible, digital marketers seek to maximize individuals’