This week's Media Conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies could mark the resolution of a long-running debate-about the terms and conditions for buying Internet advertising-between the ad industry trade organization and the Internet Advertising Bureau.
In a meeting scheduled for Wednesday night at the conference in New Orleans, the two groups hope to finalize voluntary guidelines involving such issues as sequential liability, the time frame for cancellation of an already-planned campaign, penalties for missed ad material deadlines and the appropriate time frame for payment of invoices.
But how close the two organizations are to coming to terms is uncertain. In preparation for the meeting, IAB CEO Robin Webster last week contacted the trade organization's membership, soliciting support and input on the issues.
According to an email sent to IAB members about the debate that was obtained by Advertising Age, Webster told the IAB membership, "While we have come a long way, there are still many areas of disagreement."
The two organizations first started wrestling with terms and conditions, in the hopes of standardizing the way that online media is bought and sold, during 1998's FAST Summit. Four A's Executive Vice President Mike Donahue, who is in charge of the organization's Internet issues, said that coming to an agreement, "will simplify the buying process enormously."
The IAB declined comment on the solicitation of input and the upcoming meeting.
The two organizations are also planning to discuss terms and conditions about ads served by third party ad servers in the near future.
Calendar company signs
On Board Info, a London-based company that provides online calendar services, has released Infuzer, an ad-supported product that next month goes live with its first U.S. client, the SportingNews.com.
On Board has signed up 25 clients for Infuzer, which enables advertisers to embed relevant links into Internet event listings.
The software can be downloaded into electronic organizer calendars, such as Microsoft Corp.'s Microsoft Outlook, Palm operating systems and other digital calendar software. Advertisers include Macmillan USA, Reed Elsevier's Reed Exhibition Cos., the European SportingLife.com and Internet events guide Yack.com.
After production had finished on NetResults last week, Nielsen/ NetRatings made a decision to pull back its January data, because of potential measurement problems. Ad Age regrets any inconvenience.
Consumer feedback site PlanetFeedback.com named Barefoot Advertising, Cincinnati, its agency of record for business-to-business advertising. Spending was undisclosed. Last year, PlanetFeedback launched an estimated $15 million ad campaign from its consumer agency, Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York. . . . BlueLight.com, the spinoff Internet company of Kmart Corp., introduced two new tiers of access to its subscriber Internet service, limiting what had once been completely free Internet access to only 12 hours per month under the company's new BlueLight Basic Free Internet Service. Subscribers may also get free Internet service for a limited time byshopping at www.Bluelight.com.