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IAB Members Provide Investment Capital

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NEW YORK Eleven companies have anted up $5.8 million in pre-paid membership fees to the Interactive Advertising Bureau to help the organization initiate programs designed to hasten the growth of the industry.

The companies participating in the acceleration program are: 24/7 Real Media, America Online, CNET Networks, Google, LookSmart, MSN, New York Times Digital, Overture Services, Wall Street Journal Online, The Walt Disney Internet Group and Yahoo!

The funds are earmarked for the launch of projects over the next few years geared towards simplifying the process of planning, buying and creating online ads and educating key marketers, media planners and buyers on the value of interactive advertising. The reserves also will assist the association in building its membership and member services.

"Online publishers have created real momentum in the interactive medium over the past two years as their and the IAB's efforts have brought wider adoption of the medium as an integral part of marketers' budgets," Shelby Bonnie, IAB chairman and CNET Networks chief executive, said in a statement. "The acceleration plan allows the IAB, on behalf of the industry, to build upon our success to date and further accelerate marketers adoption and thus, spending in the interactive medium."