Friday, December 6, 2002

Dinner series will bring top advertising industry minds together to address topics in interactive marketing

New York, NY – December 6, 2002 - The Interactive Advertising Bureau, the leading voice of the interactive marketing industry, and Underscore Marketing announce the launch of The Innovators Roundtable, a new dinner series geared toward promoting the value of online advertising within the media community.

“There are many issues, large and small that must be discussed, debated and worked out among publishers, marketers and agencies to help consumers better understand the value of interactive media in their lives,” said IAB President and CEO Greg Stuart. “Underscore Marketing is an excellent partner to help us offer this dynamic series to our members, which will be driven by IAB committee members from both sides, shared for the mutual benefits that come from honest intellectual discussion and good faith effort.”

Named as a tribute to The Algonquin Roundtable, which was an informal gathering of a group of American men and women who met at a large round table in the dining room of the Hotel Algonquin in New York City during the 1920s and 30s, The Innovators Roundtable will bring together some of the top minds in the advertising and marketing business to discuss the future of interactive marketing.

“The interactive marketing industry is at a crossroads,” said Tom Hespos, president of Underscore Marketing. “As interactive marketing evolves, it will adopt many of the processes, measurement methodologies and other characteristics of its traditional media brethren. During this critical period, we will need the input of the top minds in the marketing business to ensure that interactive marketing earns a place alongside print, radio and television in the marketing mix, but without sacrificing the characteristics that make it unique.”

Underscore will produce and market the events, and will assume primary responsibility for identifying and securing the key audience of media buyers and advertisers (“buy side”), developing the content designed to stimulate conversation, and provide moderators and featured speakers.

The three-tier program offering platinum, gold and participating sponsorships is structured to work within a curriculum of IAB topics. The content of the dinner series includes a strategic discourse on removing the high-level obstacles impeding the growth of interactive advertising, and to promote the value of interactive media, with specific emphasis on IAB protocols.

“We’re receiving great interest from IAB member companies for all three levels and are proud to announce we’ve scheduled several dinners across the country already in Q1’03” said Underscore Marketing CEO Tim McHale. “We’ll be developing special IAB content covering areas of concern relating to both buyers and sellers, to help guests get to the heart of these issues, while having a nice evening out with industry leaders.”

Initially scheduled events will be at Eleven Madison Park in NY and LeColonial in San Francisco.

About the IAB
Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the leading interactive advertising association and represents companies responsible for selling over 75% of online advertising in the United States, including; AOL, CNET, MSN, Overture Services, Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo, and over one hundred others. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the interactive medium and educating the advertising industry about the use of interactive advertising. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising.

About Underscore Marketing LLC
Underscore Marketing is the leading cross-platform media agency, founded in May, 2002 by Tim McHale and Tom Hespos. Underscore offers a host of services to its clients, including media planning, buying and relationship stewardship; strategic planning and consulting; business development consulting and sales training; customer relationship management; technology consulting and event marketing. Underscore’s proprietary process, Market the Experience, helps clients to develop and execute cross-platform communications campaigns that integrate both traditional and new media elements. Underscore’s clients include iMedia Communications, DoubleClick Inc., Sabre Virtually There, CMG Communications, Brand Entertainment Studios, JEMC-Inc., Sudden Industries and Norelco Consumer Products Company, a division of Philips Electronics North America, among others.


Stu Ginsburg
(917) 554-0724 - mobile
[email protected]