The appointment reflects a shift in strategy for the IAB, which was founded in 1996 as a group along the lines of the Cable Advertising Bureau that would support the industry and prove the efficacy of Internet advertising. As the mission of proving online advertising's worth has become more imperative with the dot-com downturn, one person close to the organization said that the IAB Board felt it necessary to hire a full-time, salaried CEO to better service its 300 member organizations.
Webster had most recently headed content for eMarketWorld, which provides e-business conferences and other services to a number of vertical markets, and runs the @d:tech online advertising conference. However, it was at the ANA where Webster may have had her closest relationship with the IAB, as co-executive director of the Coalition for Advertising-Supported Information and Entertainment. Casie, a joint venture of the ANA and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, has worked closely with the IAB on online advertising issues.
Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.