Should You Join the IAB (or Show Up at ad:tech)?
I headed up to New York earlier this week for a client meeting and to walk the halls of the ad:tech expo. Just a day after the New York Marathon, the city, the Hilton and the ad:tech floor were a zoo. It doesn’t help when thousands of young professionals decide to park themselves in the middle of narrow and crowded aisles to have conversations or send text messages, just another sign that social etiquette is withering as more of their time is spent on Facebook or MySpace.
ad:tech remains a robust event full of energy and excitement, but as one of my colleagues asked me, “You wonder how many of these companies will be here in three years?” Needless to say, a lot of nearby Wall Street funny money is responsible for the congested halls.
Many ad:tech exhibitors and attendees likely are members of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Both ad:tech and the IAB seem to be healthy, prospering organizations. The last time I checked, IAB dues were a minimum of $7,000 a year and increased on a sliding scale based on revenue. Association dues should come with a tremendous amount of benefits, but I just don’t see them with the IAB and continue to advise against us (NAPCO) becoming a member.
Regardless of my own personal feelings on the IAB, we follow its guidelines for Interactive Marketing Units (IMUs), which among other things allows us to respond to RFPs effectively. Most interactive agencies recommend to their clients some, if not all, of the approved IMUs.
A lot of publishers follow the IMU standards but continue to take liberties with what the units are called. Maybe it’s a 9-11 thing, but I frequently see a skyscraper (or a wide skyscraper) get referred to as a “tower.” The last time I checked, there isn’t a unit dubbed a “cube,” or what I saw most recently in one publisher’s media kit, a “boombox.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we all called online ad units by the same names? Maybe the IAB could even charge more by penalizing their members who don’t.