Monday, June 29, 1998
ONLINE AD INDUSTRY WILL DEVELOP AUDIENCE MEASUREMENT STANDARDS

'Audience Measurement Summit' is Hosted by the Internet Advertising Bureau

NEW YORK - June 29, 1998 - The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced that it has initiated a broad-based industry effort to develop guideline standards for audience measurement of the Internet, and that a September target has been set for completing and publishing a final document, "IAB Online Audience Measurement Guidelines."

"Inconsistency in the reporting of Internet audience measurement continues to be a concern for advertisers and a major barrier to more accelerated growth of online advertising," said Rich LeFurgy, IAB Chairman and Senior Vice President Advertising, Buena Vista Internet Group. "In developing their media plans, advertisers and agencies need to evaluate the online medium against traditional media's well-established research history. As an industry, we intend to help educate the industry on the correct usage of online audience research, as well as develop minimum guidelines that will help deliver more consistent, reliable and understandable audience measurement.""

As the first step in developing these standards, the IAB hosted an industry "Audience Measurement Summit" meeting following its annual membership meeting in San Francisco earlier this month, according to LeFurgy. Joining the IAB at this summit were representatives from the leading media research firms, as well as advertisers, advertising agencies, ad management firms, online media companies, and organizations representing these constituencies.

Speaking of Proctor & Gamble's approach to the Web at last month's @d:Tech conference, P&G; vice president-advertising Denis Beausejour noted, "The Web has the potential to be a dramatically more effective way for us to communicate with the people who buy and use our products." However, he then went on to say that the Web also has significant barriers prohibiting it from fulfilling its full potential...including measurements.

"Audience Measurement Summit" participants included audience research companies such as Media Metrix, Relevant Knowledge, Nielsen, and NetRatings, and advertisers such as Intel, Proctor & Gamble, IBM and GM Cyberworks. The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, as well as CASIE also participated, as did several agencies, including Media.com, Modem Media Poppe Tyson, BBDO, Anderson & Lembke and Lot21. Online media representatives included Time Inc. New Media, Buena Vista Internet Group, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Turner New Media and CBS Sportsline.

At the summit, participants appointed a working committee to develop a draft document to present to the industry in July. It was agreed that this document would address three major areas:

  • Best Practices - intended to 'raise the bar' on the quality of online audience research by establishing voluntary minimums that conform with generally accepted research practices
  • Education - intended to aid the online advertising and marketing community in comparing the research results available from different measurement companies
  • Research - intended to explore and explain the differences among the various measurement companies, and to experiment with new ways to generate more accurate audience counts

Following the initial presentation from the working committee, and after comments from all industry segments are addressed, the IAB intends to publish the final guidelines in September.

Founded in 1996, the IAB is the leading online advertising association with over 300 active members. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the online medium and educating the advertising industry about the use of online advertising. Current membership includes companies that are actively engaged in the sales of Internet advertising, with associate membership including companies that support advertising, -- interactive advertising agencies, measurement companies, research suppliers, technology suppliers, traffic companies and other organizations from related industries. A global organization, the IAB has member countries including Canada, France and Germany, and is currently developing membership countries in Asia and Latin America, as well as other countries in Europe.

Contact:

Marla Nitke IAB
212-380-4714
[email protected]