IAB, Four A’s, to meet on terms and conditions

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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.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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