Thursday, May 18, 2000

Merger of IAB Wireless Ad Council and WAIA To Create
Advertising Guidelines/ Best Practices For Wireless Platform

San Francisco CA/New York, NY May 18, 2000 - The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Wireless Advertising Industry Association (WAIA) have jointly announced the merger of the IAB’s Wireless Ad Council and the WAIA into the Wireless Advertising Association (WAA). Utilizing the IAB’s industry leadership position and infrastructure, the newly formed organization will focus its efforts on establishing workable and effective guidelines for wireless Internet and all other wireless applications on a worldwide basis. The WAA becomes the first of a series of Strategic Organizational Units on important industry initiatives that the IAB is forming in order to facilitate bringing the industry together to work for the common good.

"One of the strengths of the IAB is that it has always been focused on moving the industry forward, acting as a member platform to address issues and determine guidelines for the continued health and growth of the industry," said Rich LeFurgy, Chairman of the IAB. "The wireless platform is at the stage in its development that the Internet was when the IAB was formed in 1996. Our efforts now will go a long way towards speeding the learning curve for wireless advertising and applications. We are excited to combine our efforts to spur the growth of this vital new platform in the coming months."

The newly formed WAA will have its own Board of Directors and bylaws. After an initial start-up period, a new Board of Directors will be elected in the fall. The Board will be representative of the various segments of the wireless advertising industry including wireless carriers, device manufacturers, advertising agencies, media providers, ad serving companies and technology solution providers. Further, the Board will be global in nature, including companies headquartered outside of the United States, thereby being able to create guidelines that mirror the global nature of Internet advertising and applications on the wireless platform.

The decision to merge comes after both organizations launched similar efforts within the last month. After a series of discussions, the WAIA and IAB agreed that creating globally-accepted wireless advertising standards and best practices could occur more quickly, be in the best interest of the consumer, and be more successful, through their combined efforts.

"This decision reflects the WAIA’s and IAB’s commitment to do what's best for the industry," said Tim DePriest, Director of Strategy & AdForce EveryWhere at AdForce and interim President of the WAIA. "As we go forward, the WAA will benefit greatly from the ability to leverage the significant experience and expertise of the IAB and the power of its infrastructure, making the wireless effort that much stronger."

Companies interested in learning more about the WAA including its vision, goals and objectives, and membership policy can visit its web site Companies that have already submitted membership requests to either the WAIA or the IAB need not apply again.

About Wireless Advertising Industry Association
The WAIA is focused on uniting leading companies involved in wireless advertising as well as to discuss and resolve important issues in the evolution of advertising in this medium. Founding members include AdForce, Battenberg Fillhardt & Wright, Contra, fusionOne, Media Metrix, Motorola, Nokia, OmniSky, Opengrid, PCS Innovations, SF Interactive and Sprint PCS. The WAIA brings together competitors and partners in the first collaborative effort to address technical, business, creative and measurement issues facing the industry and begin the process of standards development.

About the Internet Advertising Bureau
Founded in 1996, the IAB is the leading online advertising association with more than 300 active member companies. 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 online advertising - interactive advertising agencies, measurement companies, research suppliers, technology suppliers, traffic companies, and other organizations from related industries. A global organization, IAB member countries include Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. IAB is currently developing membership countries in Asia and Latin America, as well as other countries in Europe. The IAB and the Internet Local Advertising Commerce Association (ILAC) agreed to combine their organizations in July of 1998.


Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]