Tuesday, December 23, 2003

IAB Celebrates Most Successful Year in Association History

New York, NY (December 23, 2003) Heralding 2003 as the year where the tide turned for interactive advertising, Greg Stuart, President and CEO, IAB, announced that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) had succeeded in launching an unprecedented number of initiatives during the twelve month period than in any other time in the history of the association. Stuart recognized the efforts of IAB members as the driving force behind this success and in working together to create real change within the industry. Stuart positioned 2004 as the “Year of the Creative” – where many IAB programs and events will feature the theme of “creative” with the over-arching goal of making interactive advertising easier to plan, buy and sell thus encouraging greater adoption by marketers.
Stuart cited several key factors that contributed to IAB success in 2003, most notably the IAB “Acceleration Plan” where eleven IAB members pre-paid membership fees worth $5.8 million in order to hasten the growth of the industry.

Evidence of industry turnaround and success was clearly reflected in the years gradual rising of interactive ad revenues, capped off by the 20% increase vs. the year before in third quarter of 2003 registering the highest total of interactive advertising revenues ($1.745 billion) reported since Q3 2001 ($1.773 billion).

“At the end of 2002 we set particularly lofty goals for ourselves and no-one was sure what could realistically be achieved. Now, looking back, the strides the industry made far surpassed our expectations,” said Stuart. “IAB committees worked diligently to launch initiatives, research and other programs that would make interactive a stronger, better ad platform for buyers and sellers. 2004 will be about keeping the momentum going and expanding our efforts to further solidify the role of online in all marketing plans, regardless of product, brand or industry.”

Other key IAB Accomplishments in 2003 include:

• The completion and launch of the Universal Ad Package, standardizing the industry around four ad sizes.

• Issuance of a call for feedback on Rich Media Guidelines for in-page units.

• Collaboration with the Media Rating Council (MRC) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), on the commitment to develop new, more detailed guidelines for interactive advertising campaign measurement.

• Release of landmark Cross Media Optimization Study (XMOS) results from Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive and AstraZeneca. Current XMOS work to be unveiled in 2004 includes ING, Universal Home Video, VeriSign and Ford.

• Completed research on Search, Sponsorship Listings and Ad Sizes that illustrated to marketers the value of each to as a component of their interactive advertising campaigns.

• Build-out of the IAB events division with two Road Shows (seven and three cities) and three hugely successful marketer-focused events – The Leadership Forum, The B2B Leadership Forum and the Advertisers Forum. Collectively, those events targeted a “duplicated” $68 Billion in advertiser’s budgets (as measured by the marketers that attended). Plus in-house educational sessions with 67 of the top 100 marketers and agencies.

• Launch of phase two of the interactive industry branding campaign for 2003 called “Superheroes,” using inventory from members and non-members and featuring top-notch marketers including Jon Raj of Visa and Phil Bienert of Volvo.

• Issuance of Email Best Practice Guidelines in collaboration with TRUSTe and the Email Service Provider Coalition making very clear what is acceptable and what is not for email marketers.

• Doubled IAB membership vs. last year to over 180 leading interactive companies.

About the IAB:

Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents the leading companies in the interactive space. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising in addition to being responsible for selling over 75% of online advertising in the United States IAB members include AOL, CNET Networks, DoubleClick, MSN, Google, Overture, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo! and over 150 others.   On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising.  For more information on the IAB please visit www.iab.net.

Emily Kutner – IAB
212-949-9030 x209
[email protected]