Monday, September 29, 1997

We're pleased to bring you the September issue of the IAB Review, a monthly update of the Internet Advertising Bureau's news and events.

This issue features:
Online Advertising Results Released
International Dinner in London
Fall General Meeting Seeks Member Participation
Buyers Survey Shows Online in Ad Plans

Can ad banners communicate brand messages as effectively as traditional media? Do Web users notice and respond to ad banners?

The IAB provided conclusive answers to these and other probing questions when it released findings from its Online Advertising Effectiveness Study - the largest and most comprehensive ad effectiveness survey to date for any medium.

Fielded across 12 leading Web sites with nearly 17,000 respondents, the broad- based study was conducted in June by, MBinteractive, a division of Millward Brown International, one of the largest advertising research firms. Participating sites included CNN, CompuServe, ESPN SportsZone, Excite, Geocities, HotWired, Looksmart, Lycos, MacWorld, National Geographic Online, Pathfinder, and Ziff Davis.

The study tested the impact of banners from 12 different advertisers and demonstrated high levels of ad banner awareness among participants. Based on a classic experimental design where half of the respondents were exposed to a test ad and the other to a control ad, the study found:

  • dramatic increase of awareness after a single ad exposure;
  • significant impact on brand perception resulting from one exposure; and
  • positive impact on intent to purchase.

"This study conclusively demonstrates that online advertising has the same communication power as traditional media. We found that a single Web ad banner exposure enhances positive perception of advertised brands and improves the likelihood of consumer purchase," said Rich LeFurgy, IAB Chairman. "Advertisers who are overlooking the enormous brand building power available on the Internet are missing a sure bet."

The IAB study also found that the click-through metric is not always appropriate to evaluate the success of online ad campaigns. Ad banner exposure was found to be responsible for 96% of ad awareness, compared to click-through which contributed only 4%.

"Exposure to ad banners accounted for the lion's share of communication impact," said Rex Briggs, Vice President at MBinteractive. "This important finding indicates that ad banners are not just direct marketing vehicles to drive users to brand web sites. They are powerful advertising communication vehicles as well."

The IAB study tested a wide array of brands from consumer packaged goods to financial services. Users were randomly reached as they linked to any of the twelve Web sites. After completing a general query, users were advanced to their requested page where specific ad banners were delivered for purposes of the study. Participants were then contacted within a week via e-mail to test their ability to recall the exposed ad banners and the impact of the brands.

The IAB Online Advertising Effectiveness Study can be viewed at In October, the detailed report will be made available to members.

The IAB Research Committee will continue to implement studies that document the power of the medium. If you are interested in participating in the committee, please contact Committee Chair Scott McDonald at (212) 522-1505.

The Internet Advertising Bureau will formally introduce the IAB European Advisory Committee (EAC) at a special dinner Thursday, October 23 at London's Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly. As part of an effort to fuel the global growth of Internet advertising, the IAB has charged the new organizing committee with setting the direction for the development of IAB Europe.

The EAC will mirror the diverse member representation of the IAB in the United States. It will advise on the organizational structure, goals, and future activities of IAB Europe.

When fully formed, IAB Europe will provide a collective voice representing the I nterests of European companies engaged in selling Internet advertising. In addition, IAB Europe will significantly increase the profile and credibility of the European online advertising market.

Don't miss this opportunity to meet the industry leaders developing the IAB International plans. Your participation will help shape the vision for the worldwide expansion of the Internet advertising industry. To register for the event, please visit

We're looking for innovative companies to drive an engaging panel discussion at the IAB Fall General Meeting, December 11 at New York's Jacob Javits Center. "Outlook '98" will put your company on the agenda. It will showcase developments that will propel online advertising in the coming year.

Drop us a line and tell us why you should be represented on this panel. The Marketing & Conferences Committee will review all submissions and announce the panelists in the IAB's November newsletter. Send your information by Friday, October 24 to Outlook '98, c/o IAB 1500 Broadway, #26th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

The Fall General Meeting also will feature:

  • Making the Deal -- industry leaders who are cutting the largest online advertising deals, and
  • Madison Avenue Speaks -- advertising's biggest spenders share their views on the future of the Internet.

Additionally, the members-only morning session will include:

  • The IAB Board of Directors' Elections
  • Committees and Activities Update
  • The European Advisory Committee Report, and
  • The Members Keynote Luncheon (speaker to be announced).

To reserve your space at the meeting, please register at Additionally, you must complete the Internet World '97 Free Exhibit Hall Admission form found at to attend.

For additional information please contact the IAB Hotline at (212) 704-4446. Updates on the meeting agenda and speakers will be posted at starting in October.

Initial returns from the IAB Ad Buyers' Survey demonstrate both a willingness to spend with a broad number of sites and a continuing focus on return on investment.

Created and fielded by the Agency & Marketer Relations Committee, the survey gauges the concerns and attitudes of those who buy Internet advertising. Among the findings:

Fully half the respondents come from a New Media Group within an ad agency, while a third claim to be from a traditional media group, demonstrating the emergence of the new media specialist.

87% of the respondents have budgets specifically devoted to new media buying, as opposed to site development budgets, illustrating a recognition of the traffic-driving and brand-building value inherent among sites created by web publishers.

The respondents illustrated the trend toward more distributed web spending that was seen in the Q1 1997 IAB's Internet Advertising Revenue Reporting Program. 50% of respondents have purchased ad space on more than 25 different sites, while another 21% have advertised on 15 or more.

There is clear evidence that the click rate, in and of itself, has given way to other indicators of return on investment. Evaluation of campaign success is five times more likely to be based on cost per click or conversion to sales as it is on pure click rate.

87% of respondents claim to make most of their buys in banner form, again reinforcing findings from the IAB's Internet Advertising Revenue Reporting Program.

The IAB Agency & Marketer Relations Committee is chaired by Greg Stuart of @webrite. If you would like to participate on the committee, contact Greg at (212) 317-2758.

The IAB encourages the active participation of all its members. If you have any comments or suggestions about current or future IAB events and programs, we'd like to know.


Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]