Wednesday, August 20, 2003
IAB ANNOUNCES ACCELERATION PROGRAM WORTH $5.8

Select IAB Members to Provide Investment Capital for the Interactive Industry

New York, NY (August 20, 2003) –In a show of solidarity for the future of interactive advertising, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today announced that several IAB member companies will participate in an Acceleration Program designed to hasten the growth of the industry. This will enable the association to immediately initiate programs and projects that will further improve the value of the interactive advertising medium for advertisers and agencies. Participating companies will fund the Acceleration Program by providing pre-paid membership fees worth $5.8 million.

Acceleration Program participating companies are: 24/7 Real Media, America Online, Inc., CNET Networks, Google, LookSmart, LTD., MSN, New York Times Digital, Overture Services, Wall Street Journal Online, The Walt Disney Internet Group and Yahoo!.

“Online publishers have created real momentum in the interactive medium over the past two years as their and the IAB's efforts have brought wider adoption of the medium as an integral part of marketers' budgets. The Acceleration Plan allows the IAB, on behalf of the industry, to build upon our success to date and further accelerate marketers’ adoption and thus, spending in the interactive medium," said Shelby Bonnie, Chairman of the IAB and chief executive officer, CNET Networks, Inc.

The IAB acceleration funds are earmarked for the launch of critical industry initiatives over the next few years that are geared towards both simplifying the process of planning, buying and creating interactive advertising and on educating key marketers, media planners and buyers on the value offered by interactive advertising. In addition, the funds will assist in building IAB membership and member services.

Specific projects made possible by the acceleration funds include: 1) the seven-city Cross Media Optimization Study (XMOS) Road Show conducted in April 2003 2) expansion of XMOS to include additional marketers 2) build-out of the IAB events and education division 3) industry simplification programs (the first of which was the Universal Ad Package, launched in May 2003), including industry-wide standards and guidelines (measurement, ad sizes terms and terms and conditions, etc.) as well as standards for particular industry segments such as email, classifieds, search, etc. 4) development of additional member services, such as the Media Credit System designed to help businesses manage risk.

“The last eighteen months have been an exhilarating period for the IAB. It’s been especially rewarding to witness the industry coalesce and work together towards the common good. The best evidence of this unification is the jump in IAB membership from 35 members to 135 members over such a short period of time. However, we all recognize the remaining challenges ahead of us and this demonstrates that the industry participants will continue to band together to drive the industry forward,” said Greg Stuart, President and CEO, IAB.

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 100 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.


Contact:

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