Tuesday, April 10, 2001

New York, NY - April 10, 2001 - Having completed the first phase of its multi-pronged initiatives aimed at improving the quality and use of interactive media by issuing guidelines for new interactive marketing units, and reaching agreement with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) on terms and conditions for Internet advertising served by publishers, the IAB will expand its membership eligibility to include all companies actively engaged in the sale of interactive advertising and marketing. Simultaneously, the organization's name has been changed to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, more accurately reflecting its membership. At the same time, the IAB will eliminate the Associate and Affiliate Membership categories, which include companies and associations that do not sell interactive advertising. The IAB also named Robin Webster as President & CEO at its Board of Directors meeting, which was held in New York City last week.

"The IAB is the only association exclusively devoted to helping interactive media companies market and sell their advertising space, products and services," noted Robin Webster, President & CEO of the IAB. "The direction we are taking ensures that the interests of interactive media companies on both current and future platforms, will benefit from the common pool of expertise that the IAB develops on an ongoing basis. The decision to eliminate our Associate and Affiliate membership categories is based on the fact that we need to be very focused on one goal: to continue to build confidence in and promote the value of interactive advertising and marketing. Additionally, our former Associate and Affiliate members are amply represented by other active trade and industry associations, all of whom the IAB work with on a regular basis. Our new membership policy will benefit all of us as we continue to work together to improve the overall business."

Additional items addressed at the IAB Board meeting include:

  • Board of Directors - The IAB Nominating Committee has issued a call for nominations for new members of the Board of Directors. Board members must work for an IAB member company, and will serve a three-year term. One third of the Board will be elected each year.

  • Wireless Advertising Association (WAA) - The WAA and the IAB have agreed to an evolution in their relationship, which began a year ago with the merger of the Wireless Advertising Industry Association (WAIA) and the IAB's Wireless Advertising Council (WAC) under the aegis of the IAB. WAA member companies involved in ad sales and marketing continue to be eligible as members in the IAB as well as the WAA. Mirroring the new IAB membership requirements, carriers, device makers, etc., will continue to be WAA members.

  • Annual Membership Meeting - The IAB's Annual Membership Meeting will be held in New York City on August 7, in conjunction with the Jupiter Online Advertising Forum. In association with Jupiter Media Metrix, the IAB will help program a number of sessions during the Forum on August 8 and 9.

"The steps we are now taking are designed to transform the IAB from an all volunteer organization to a fully staffed professional association. The timing is right as we are in fact mirroring the development of our member companies' efforts to embrace all of the major digital interactive advertising platforms, including the Internet, wireless and interactive television," said IAB Chairman Rich LeFurgy. "Interactive media will continue to grow and be an ever-increasing component in the daily lives of billions of people. Working closely with our members, we have refocused the IAB's efforts so that they are more directly involved in our initiatives, all of which are designed to define the business for all of our benefit."

Serving as the rallying point and key advocate for the interactive advertising and marketing industry, the IAB has identified an ambitious agenda for the months ahead including developing measurement guidelines, fielding research on interactive advertising effectiveness, creating the terms and conditions for Internet advertising for ads served by third party ad servers, and developing comprehensive marketing materials for member companies.

"Our recent announcements and the agenda we have laid out for the near term should send a clear signal to the industry that the IAB and its members are dedicated to helping the interactive advertising business operate at peak performance and with one voice," Ms. Webster added. "It should be noted that the current slowdown in the ad market is not restricted to any one industry segment. Our goal is to create an environment for interactive media which will promote continued innovation and assure the growth and success of our industry throughout periodic business cycles."

About the IAB
Founded in 1996, the IAB is the industry's leading interactive advertising association. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of interactive media and educating the advertising industry about the use of interactive advertising and marketing. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in the sale of interactive advertising and marketing.


Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]