Publishers Throw Weight Behind IAB Australia
5 March, 2008: Australia’s largest online publishers this week confirmed they will be increasing their support of IAB Australia, announcing that Tony Faure (ninemsn), Rohan Lund (Yahoo!7), Nick Leeder (News Digital Media), Bill Burton (Bigpond) and Nic Cola (Fairfax Digital) have personally joined the IAB Board.
The publishers have also agreed to invest additional resources to appoint a fulltime CEO for IAB Australia, who will be responsible for championing the continued growth and development of online advertising in Australia. A search process is underway and potential candidates are being invited to nominate themselves for consideration.
Patty Keegan, GM of IAB Australia noted that the increasing support of IAB Australia from the publishers comes at a time when Australian online advertising is growing strongly, but is lightweight compared to its global peers.
“Online advertising revenue growth in the Australian market is well documented, yet usage is growing even more rapidly. The IAB Board has a critical role to play as champion for online advertising in Australia and it is keen to collectively assist marketers take full advantage of online advertising and to accelerate the growth of the industry,” said Ms Keegan.
“Online advertising is Australia’s fastest growing media category and in 2007 we passed the $1.35B mark firmly placing online in the ‘top three’ alongside print and TV,’ said Rohan Lund, CEO of Yahoo!7. “Like our peers in other advertising mediums, the online publishers in this country need to be represented by a single voice, a role played with much success by the IAB in countries throughout Europe and United States. With the full support of all the major publishers, the IAB is perfectly placed to champion online advertising in this country.”
Nick Leeder, COO of News Digital Media commented: ‘The IAB is actively looking for a full time CEO to lead the industry. The publishers are all committed to tackling industry wide issues like measurement of online properties and education. Having a full time, high profile executive will ensure our efforts are well coordinated.’
IAB Australia has also confirmed its support for online advertising audience measurement accreditation, though details of the financial commitment are still pending. Speaking after last week’s Board meeting, IAB Australia GM Patty Keegan said that the issue of audience measurement is one that is taken seriously by all IAB board member publishers.
“We don't have a solution yet, but are working toward it. In order to move forward the publishers need to understand the realistic financial implications of maintaining an accredited panel and are waiting for indicative costing from suppliers,” said Ms Keegan.
“As an industry we recognise the need to do a better job of showing marketers how digital connects with consumers to build brands. This is the key to closing the gap between our share of media time and our share of advertising revenue,” said Tony Faure, CEO of ninemsn.
Nic Cola, COO Fairfax Digital noted: “The industry needs to be able to supply advertisers with metrics which they can compare to those of other media. We are on a path to adopting a comprehensive measurement system as an industry and we are committed to the process. This will give marketers a clear picture of website audiences”
“In order to close the gap between time and dollars spent online, we need to be able to supply advertisers with metrics which they can compare to those of other media,” said Ms Keegan. “The IAB is the appropriate body to drive audience measurement accreditation and the IAB board member companies have all confirmed they are firmly behind the process, along with other industry bodies including AIMIA, MFA, AFA and AANA,” said Ms Keegan.
With regard to industry talk of a "hybrid" measurement system, Ms Keegan noted that the Cross-Industry Steering Committee agreed that the industry's primary objective in developing the Audience Measurement Blueprint was to come up with a metric for reach of people. As a result the best approach will be to focus on auditing and accrediting panels as a first step.
Ann Morrison has been appointed as independent Chair of the Cross-Industry Steering Committee, which also includes the MFA and agencies. As media director of EuroRSCG, Ms. Morrison established the first digital specialist division with a media department in this market in 1995 , and was a Founding member of the AFA Interactive Group (forerunner of AFA Digital).
About the Interactive Advertising Bureau
IAB Australia officially launched in October 2005 with Australia’s six major online publishers -Fairfax Digital, Google, News Digital Media, ninemsn, Sensis, and Yahoo!7 - together with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) as its founding members. The IAB now has 40 member companies, drawn from a broad spectrum of online advertising and marketing organizations, technology and services companies.
The group has three key priorities: to promote the standardisation of ad formats; to ensure timeliness and transparency of industry data, and to educate the marketplace about the value of online advertising.
For further information about IAB Australia please visit: http://www.iabaustralia.com.au
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