ONLINE DIRECT MARKETERS WILL FORM NEW TRADE GROUP

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Interactive marketing executives this week will meet with the intent of forming a new industry association under the working title of Internet Direct Marketing Bureau.

The purpose of the group is to address the space that falls between the Internet Advertising Bureau and the Direct Marketing Association. It's intended to serve the needs of purchasers and providers of opt-in e-mail programs; online sweepstakes; collaborative filtering programs, which recommend products or services for users based on previous selections; and other Internet direct marketing services.

SOME AREAS NOT BEING SERVED

"There are all kinds of things that happen between the time an impression is served and the time a customer makes a purchase in the relationship cycle," said Tony Winders, president of interActive Agency, Los Angeles, who is a member of the steering committee of the new group.

"We feel there are some areas that are not being served by the other two organizations [DMA and IAB]," said Mr. Winders, pointing to issues such as database profiling of Internet users, lack of online direct marketing standards and establishing guidelines for collecting user information during online promotions.

NO COHESIVE ORGANIZATION

The idea for the association came from Paul Grand, CEO of Word of Net, who has been trying to raise visibility for the online direct marketing space.

"There is no cohesive organization to facilitate the growth of this space," said Mr. Grand.

Other members of the steering committee include: Van Vandegrift, marketing senior executive at Compaq Computer Corp.'s Digital Equipment Corp.; Ken Wruk, president of WebPromote; Steven Krein, president of WebStakes; and other executives.

The group will hold a meeting Aug. 12 at the Jupiter Online Advertising Forum, New York, to set up committees and start to build awareness in the industry. The association is to be formally announced in October at Fall Internet World in New York.

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