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IAB Kicks Off Industry Campaign

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NEW YORK -- The Interactive Advertising Bureau this week will launch the first brand campaign for the industry in an attempt to increase ad spending behind interactive media. The effort aims to position interactive advertising as an integral component in the overall marketing mix.

Under the theme "Interactive is the Active Ingredient in the Marketing Mix," the yearlong, multi-million dollar ad campaign will highlight multiple interactive case studies from major marketers. For instance, one banner asks "How did a leading soap brand achieve a 34% pure increase in brand awareness?" The answer: "By adding the active ingredient... Interactive."

Online ad units, targeting marketing and agency decision makers, will run on content-relevant sites, eNewsletters and opt-in e-mails. Offline ads will also appear in print and traditional direct mail.

"As we continue to mature as a medium, we need to treat interactive as a brand and the manner in which we position ourselves as an industry is critical to driving the success and adoption of interactive advertising and marketing in the years ahead," said IAB president and chief executive Greg Stuart.

All services for the campaign, such as research, strategy, creative, media buying and ad inventory, are being donated by industry players. Stein Rogan + Partners in New York is developing all online and offline creative for the campaign based on qualitative and quantitative research the agency conducted. The research found that "the 'opinion' pendulum regarding interactive is swinging from negative or neutral to increasingly positive," said Tom Stein, president and CEO of Stein Rogan.

Additional companies contributing media and other assets to the campaign include 24/7 Real Media, About.com, Adweek, AOL Time Warner, Atlas DMT, DoubleClick, Unicast, Underscore Marketing, Sportsline.com and Yahoo!, among others. Work donated thus far is estimated at $500,000-750,000.