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Consumer Groups To Meet Thursday With FTC Chairman

Consumer groups are meeting with
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz Thursday, the second of
what have become quarterly meetings, according to Jeff Chester,
executive director of the Center For Digital Democracy.

Chester says online competition,
privacy and food marketing to kids will all be on the agenda for groups
including CDD, Consumers Union, Public Citizen, the ACLU and others.

"We want to ensure FTC is focused on
protecting the public, and this is both a means for a dialogue but also
to ensure greater accountability," he said, adding that the groups
appreciate the chairman's efforts to have an open
door policy for their concerns, but adds: "But our groups are going to
press and ensure the agency's is more responsive than it has been in the

Leibowitz has said he is not interested in regulating behavioral advertising online so long as the industry is making progress toward self-regulation, telling cable operators in May that
the commission had "great hopes" for proposed self-regulatory guidelines proposed by direct and online marketers.

Chester, for one, has been a strong
voice for more muscular oversight by government of the online marketing
space, suggesting that is where the next media consolidation
thunderheads are massing.