2009 Annual Meeting: Day One Recap

Randall Rothenberg opens up
Ecosystem 2.0 - Brands Battle Back


Wenda Harris Millard lets the audience know technology should not replace creativity.

The center isle of the general session room at Ecosystem 2.0: Brands Battle Back, the IAB’s second off-site Annual Leadership Meeting, was crowded as the who’s who of the advertising ecosystem filed in to kick-off the 2009 event. The almost 500 attendees may have wanted to keep mingling and talking strategy with colleagues, but bigger issues were at stake—the future of the industry.

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB, opened the three-day conference by acknowledging the value of the event as the place where the industry gathers to talk shop about the biggest issues impacting brands, agencies and publishers. This year’s theme: how brands are battling back against commoditization, especially in challenging economic times.

With a quick highlight of the 2008 year, Rothenberg gave a detailed account of the issues the IAB plans to attack in 2009 several of which were addressed in press releases earlier in the day.

  • Killing Complexity Costs – with the help of the IAB-AAAA Reinvention Task Force (Read the press release to learn more.)
  • Equity for Publishers – rewriting the standard, voluntary IAB-AAAA Model Advertising Contract (Read the press release to learn more.)
  • Creativity – creating a creative renaissance in interactive advertising (Read the press release to learn more.)

As a trade association, the IAB is dependent on the support and participation of the folks in the trenches of interactive. The IAB Service Awards were presented along with recognition of the 2008 committee chairs and co-chairs who volunteer time and input throughout the year as they lead the work of councils, committees and working groups.

Wenda Harris Millard, Chair of the IAB Board of Directors, explained why advertising is so much more the needs of marketers. And, we must not let technology stand in the way or shift the way creative is valued. “Marketers are the makers of magic,” she said. “And, they must act like it.” She challenged the audience to think about innovation, renewal and reinvention as ways to move forward.

Before the session dismissed for the poolside cocktail reception, Jack Myers, Media Futurist, Innovation Consultant, presented the IAB Sales Excellence Awards to honor the people and organizations who have consistently mastered the art of online sales. Congratulations to all IAB Sales and Service Excellence Award Winners.

The conversation has stared and the next two days promise to bring answers and more questions about how brands, agencies, publishers and other media professionals can work together to build the industry and their businesses.


Dave Moore announces the winners of the IAB Service Excellence Awards.

Jack Meyers talks about the future before annoucing the IAB Sales Excellence Awards Winners