IAB to Revise Interactive Ad Unit Standards; Brings Together Task Force of Top Talent to Re-Imagine Interactive Advertising

Ad Operations OnlineMulti-Disciplinary Forum Includes Agency Creatives for the First Time

NEW YORK – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced that it has held its first meeting of the Re-Imagining Interactive Advertising Task Force, comprised of top online publishers, media agencies and, for the first time, creative officers from the nation’s leading advertising agencies. The new task force’s objective is to develop a comprehensive roadmap for the next stages in the evolution of interactive advertising to ensure that ad formats meet the growing business and creative needs of advertisers, agencies and publishers.

“We believe we can make interactive advertising far more hospitable to the craft and practice of persuasion by putting creativity front and center in the development of advertising standards,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “By bringing creative agency leaders into the discussion of the standards, we highlight our industry-wide mission to showcase brands and engaging consumers in meaningful ways.”

It is a historic change for the industry to include advertising agency creative executives in the process of developing ad standards. In 2002, the IAB issued the first Universal Ad Package comprised of four ad standards and has subsequently added 14 supplemental standard ad units to the total as the online space has evolved. The IAB reviews these units annually and makes adjustments based on marketplace data obtained from IAB member companies and syndicated research firms. This year’s decision to bring the industry’s creative and media thought leaders together adds a broader perspective as the IAB examines the current state of interactive advertising and determines whether new approaches need to be recommended to the marketplace.
The following are participating in the Re-Imagining Interactive Advertising Task Force:

* Barbarian Group
* BBDO Worldwide
* Carat Interactive
* Cars.com
* CBS Interactive
* Condé Nast Digital
* Digitas
* Disney Interactive Media Group
* Google, Inc.
* McKinney
* Microsoft Advertising
* New York Times Digital
* Ogilvy Interactive
* Platform-A
* Razorfish
* R/GA
* ShortTail
* Time Inc.
* Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
* Universal McCann
* Univision Online
* Yahoo!, Inc.

“It’s great that the IAB is putting creative front and center through its Re-imagining Interactive Advertising Task Force,” said Brian DiLorenzo, Director of Integrated Production, BBDO North America. “Regardless of form or platform, in the end, it’s all about creating compelling content that engages consumers and rewards them for spending time with our clients’ brands.”

“The 4A’s and our members look forward to working with the IAB on this mission-critical effort to accommodate creativity in online advertising,” said Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). “As an industry we’ve proven how interactive advertising can build brands and with the constantly evolving technologies at our fingertips it is in our best interests to develop ad units that showcase great work and can be scaled and delivered seamlessly to consumers. Together, this group can make that happen.”

The IAB has taken a lead role in advocating for greater creativity in online advertising. Rothenberg has written and spoken extensively about the need for digital media to more effectively meet marketers’ needs and expressed his thinking on the subject in “A Bigger Idea: A Manifesto on Interactive Advertising Creativity” on his blog which has been covered extensively. The full article can be found here: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2009/02/a-bigger-idea-a-manifesto-on-i.html

In February of this year, the IAB announced the formation of an Advertising Agency Advisory Board comprised of senior executives from the nation’s leading creative, digital and media agencies, to bring the agency point of view more fully into the IAB’s guidelines work and to drive forward the importance of premium online experiences. To see more, please go to: http://www.iab.net/about_the_iab/recent_press_releases/press_release_archive/press_release/pr-022209-agency

The IAB has also launched the IAB Boot Camp for Creative Agencies, an in-depth on-site educational program that teaches agency creative executives and their teams the most effective ways to leverage interactive media for greater results. For more information, please go to http://www.iab.net/events_training/690217

About the IAB:

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 375 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.