The mission of the IAB is simple—growth, growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of our members’ share of total marketing spend. As 2008 drew to a close, unprecedented economic challenges impacted the U.S. and the global economy—yet many interactive media companies continued to thrive amid the uncertainty.

Throughout 2008, the IAB built on a legacy of growth-driving accomplishment and on the collective power we were able to organize and unleash on behalf of our members and the industry at large. We aligned our initiatives to three strategic platforms—engagement, accountability and operational effectiveness. We took many bold steps as an industry leader to help protect our members’ interest in the public policy arena, to increase accountability in metrics and to drive industry growth by reaching out to and educating marketers and agencies about the advantages of interactive advertising. We made significant progress on one of the industry’s most vexing issues—taking costs and inefficiencies out of the supply chain by leading a series of cross-industry initiatives that will transform interactive operations through critical systems improvements. Our committees, councils and working groups achieved new levels of collaboration and set new standards for how the industry conducts business. Our membership grew to 415 companies. We even remade our own identity and logo, thanks to a new design created by Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram.
Below, we outline some of the year’s highlights.
Public Policy
  • Promoted the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers, helping fend off adverse legislation and regulation. We maintained a high profile in Washington, D.C., and monitored developments in state capitals across the country.
  • Led ongoing industry-wide effort to create new interactive advertising privacy guidelines that will help ensure users’ control over the use of personal information
  • Took a lead role in Washington—Randall Rothenberg, IAB President and CEO, testified on June 25, 2008, as an expert witness about the critical role that Internet advertising plays for small businesses in the U.S. economy during a U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Regulations, Healthcare and Trade hearing
  • Worked to ensure passage of a new, strong anti-spyware enforcement law. Congress passed H.R. 5938, which provides additional tools and resources to law enforcement agencies for tracking down and prosecuting cyber criminals.
  • Defeated a number of onerous regulatory proposals at the Federal and state levels that would have inhibited the ability of online advertisers to deliver high value, relevant advertising
  • Helped provide guidance and set standards of truth and accuracy for national advertisers by participating in the National Advertising Review Council
  • Promoted the value of the ad-supported Internet through a broad educational campaign and supporting research that was divorced from corporate self-interest
  • Mobilized small publishers to give them voice against ill-considered Federal regulation that could hinder their ability to sell or carry advertising, through IAB’s new Small Publisher membership category
  • Fostered consistent industry procedures and terminology in best practices documents about online lead generation, email data management and lead-quality accountability
  • Produced guidelines for Audience Reach Measurement, a major industry-wide initiative that provided clear, consistent definitions of metrics and set standards for how to measure unique audience across different methodologies
  • Drove attention to and participation in the shaping of the IAB Audience Reach Measurement Guidelines by hosting the first- ever live public comment workshops onsite at the IAB Audience Measurement Leadership Forum in December 2008
  • Supported and recognized, through a new compliance seal program, those advertisers, agencies and publishers who adopted and practiced consistency with the Rich Media Creative Guidelines, Digital Video In-Stream Ad Format Guidelines and the Universal Ad Package
  • Spotlighted the importance of syndicated audience measurement audits
Operational Effectiveness
  • Developed and released E-Business Interactive Standards, a beta version of an automated solution for the transfer of information between advertising agencies and media companies
  • Provided Interactive Advertising Workflow Best Practices as a set of comprehensive process recommendations for advertising agencies and publishers, focused on improving the management of advertising accounts by decreasing discrepancies, campaign set-up errors and billing cycles
  • Defined and released digital video in-steam ad metrics and VAST, a digital video ad serving template for increasing yield
  • Drove significant progress in many areas by releasing Revenue Cycle Best Practices, Campaign Set-Up Best Practices, Ad Load Performance Best Practices and Best Practices for Rich Media Ads in Asynchronous Ad Environments
  • Reinforced the collaborative working spirit of the Ad Operations community through this year’s expanded Ad Operations Summit that attracted an unprecedented number of attendees from both agencies and publishers
  • Delivered Digital Video Ad Format Guidelines, Revised Ad Unit and Rich Media Creative Guidelines and Ad Campaign Measurement Process Guidelines
  • Educated brand marketers, advertising agencies and publishers on the benefits of interactive tools and techniques through a series of "news you can use" initiatives that included Events, Professional Development and the IAB Interactive Boot Camp for Senior Marketers as well as seminars and industry networking gatherings
  • Attracted more than 3,660 attendees to 10 events, educating them on such topics as Performance Marketing, Digital Video, UGC and Audience Measurement, and exposing marketers and agencies to mobile advertising and ad networks and exchanges through new two Leadership Forum events
  • Engaged more than 350 top industry leaders at the inaugural, sold-out IAB 2008 Annual Meeting in Phoenix. Speakers included media luminaries from the major players in the interactive industry.
  • Hosted the most successful MIXX Conference & Expo ever, reaching an expanded audience and delivering groundbreaking content from main-stage industry leaders
  • Created market-making white papers on the state of mobile, UGC and social media and digital video
  • Introduced a series of professional development courses that will serve as a launch pad for a complete 2009 schedule
  • Turned into a central industry resource, highlighting research from leading market research organizations, providing timely video interviews of thought leaders and breaking news on the interactive industry. Unique visitors increased in second half of year, compared to the same period of 2007, by 28 percent.
  • Drove important industry research including Marketing & Media Ecosystem 2010—a joint study between IAB, the ANA, AAAA and management consulting firm Booz & Co—and a groundbreaking digital pricing benchmarking study in conjunction with Bain & Company
  • Helped our members form professional communities of interest by launching IABConnect, a networking web site for members- only
  • Fostered consistent media discussion about our industry, increasing press stories by 50 percent year-over-year from November 2007