The newest iteration of The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Board of Directors reflects the six-year-old organization’s evolution towards embracing the entire realm of ad-supported Internet business models, as opposed to focusing mainly on portals and publishing networks. The move also indicates the inevitable segmentation taking place as the Web ad industry matures.
By transforming along with the industry it promotes, the IAB “will be one of the most important organizations going forward for the future of Internet advertising,” predicts newly re-elected Tim Armstrong, VP advertising sales at Google Inc.
The trade group’s current projects display a shift away from a strict focus on developing online ad standards towards proving the value of Internet advertising through education and research. The IAB’s Cross Media Optimization Study, conducted by Marketing Evolution’s Rex Briggs, Dynamic Logic and Forrester Research, is a series of case studies involving marketers such as MSN, Unilever and McDonald’s. So far, the cross-platform research has shown the compound effect integrated advertising can have on brand metrics like purchase intent and brand awareness. By employing this research as a learning tool, online ad supported businesses are proving to advertisers that spending online can boost the overall impact of a multimedia campaign.
The IAB’s current ad campaign, created by Stein Rogan & Partners, New York, also aims to educate marketers about integrating interactive programs into their media mixes. William K. Furlong, founder, president and CEO of Chicago-based B2BWorks, Inc. and recently re-elected IAB board member, likens the campaign to a similar effort once put forth by the cable industry to promote allocation of ad dollars towards cable television. The goal of the “Interactive. It’s the Active Ingredient.” campaign, says Furlong, is to convince “marketing executives that interactive shouldn’t be a nominal part of an ad budget, but a significant part.”
Tailoring the IAB message for specific segments of ad-supported Web business is part of the overall scheme. For instance, as a representative of the Search industry sector and member of the IAB’s Search Committee, Armstrong plans to “hammer out the next generation of search standards,” as well as “help the IAB understand the search marketplace better.”
In turn, b-to-b rep Furlong will assist in developing “specific goals and projects to help build a more solid b-to-b story for the IAB.”
The IAB elects a third of its Board of Directors each year; officers hold three-year terms. Members, including AOL, Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo, CNET and Overture Services, account for more than 75% of interactive ad revenue in the US and must generate a significant amount of revenue from online advertising to qualify for membership.
In addition to Armstrong and Furlong, other recently elected IAB Board Members are Joanne Bradford, VP and chief media revenue officer, MSN, Microsoft Corp.; Jason Devitt, CEO, Vindigo; Robert Goldberg, SVP, sales, marketing and international operations, LookSmart; Mark Mariani, president sales and marketing, SportsLine.com; Javier Saralegui, president, Univision Online; Christopher M. Schroeder, CEO and publisher, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive; Jeffrey Schwartz president and CEO, Autobytel Inc.; Deborah J. Wilson, president and CEO, weather.com.