Ad-backed Web sites to chart spending

The Internet Advertising Bureau is working on a system to measure online ad revenues.

A fledgling trade group of ad-supported Web sites today launched a program to determine how much advertising is being sold on the Internet.

The Internet Advertising Bureau, formerly the Internet Advertising Council, will work with the national accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand on an anonymous reporting system designed to create an accurate measure of Internet ad revenues.

Plans call for the first public accounting report to be released in the fall. Web sites will report their ad revenues to the Coopers, which will aggregate results to avoid revealing the income of any particular Web site. Breakdowns by industry also are planned.

Because most commercial Web sites rely on advertising as their chief revenue source, efforts such as IAB's to promote online advertising could affect how much Internet content is made available free to users.

At its first public meeting, which drew more than 300 people in New York, the IAB also outlined its committee structure:
--research and advertising effectiveness, Linda McCutcheon of Time Incorporated
--industry standards and practices, Richie Glassberg, Turner Interactive Marketing & Sales
--agency and marketer relations, Greg Stuart, Interactive Imagination (publisher of Riddler)
--marketing and conferences, Phil Frank, Infoseek --professional development, chaired by Kate Everett, CNET.

"Since its inception in late April, the IAB has been inundated with requests for information from a broad range of companies actively engaged in the sales of advertising delivered over the Internet," Molly Ford, Infoseek director of advertising, said in a statement.

Information on IAB is available via email from dleone@edelman.com.

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