Industry group launches education campaign on advertising

NEW YORK: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is conducting a campaign to educate lawmakers and consumers about the significance of Internet advertising to the economy.

NEW YORK: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is conducting a campaign to educate lawmakers and consumers about the significance of Internet advertising to the economy.

As part of the effort, the organization gathered online publishers in Washington on June 10 to meet with members of Congress and to hold a press event about Web advertising, said David Doty, SVP of thought leadership, marketing, and events at the IAB. The campaign occurs as legislators consider privacy measures that could affect online ads.

“It's not just about the Internet giants. The giants are important, but a lot of small businesses are dependent on online advertising,” said Doty. “And we wanted to put a human face on them.”

As part of the effort, the organization partnered with two Harvard Business School professors to release a study on June 10 that showed, among other findings, that interactive ads create $300 billion in economic activity and represent more than 2% of the US economy. The survey also found that more than 3 million consumers are employed because of interactive ads.

The group revealed a video “I am the Long Tail,” which consists of vignettes from online publishers. It launched a Web site to display the segment and to encourage other Web publishers to contribute their stories via video. The tagline refers to the term “the long tail,” often used in discussion of online business models.

The effort, which also includes a June 15 event in San Francisco on the importance of online interactive games, will also try to show that Internet business is “one of the healthier aspects of the economy,” according to Doty.

He added that the group's media outreach has targeted consumer publications, trade outlets, and Web and advertising blogs. The group has also asked the public to use the Twitter hashtag #iabnet when microblogging about the issue. Doty said the effort was conducted by IAB's internal staff, and he declined to reveal a budget.

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