Net ad group lands a CEO

The Internet Advertising Bureau, which represents an industry suffering deeply from the deflating dot-com bubble, hired a CEO on Tuesday responsible for opening a New York office and organizing a full-time membership relations, marketing and professional-development staff.

Robin Webster, who has a background in interactive and brand marketing, will be the group's first CEO. Her hire signifies a strengthening of the IAB into a full-service trade-group that can more easily bring together differing constituencies to settle issues central to the industry, such as setting measurement standards, normalizing the process of buying and selling media, and creating better online ad formats. Also, the hire give the IAB a professional leader and staff that will provide new services to members and provide the group's lay leaders room to focus on industry debates rather than administrative duties.

Webster said Tuesday that her goals will be to organize the IAB more professionally so it can lead the industry it serves during time when several key issues remain unresolved. For example, she plans to lead IAB members in the development of new online ad models, set ad performance standards and norms, and create uniform terms and conditions for buying and selling media.

Webster also said she wants to make the IAB more responsive to advertisers. "We have to demonstrate some great action and confidence," she says. "We have to listen to some of the concerns of the advertisers and the agencies and do something about them."

Prior to joining the IAB, Webster directed editorial content for eMarketWorld.com's 25 annual conferences that serve digital industries ranging from advertising to marketing and health care to travel, among others. From 1994 to 2000, she was an executive VP of the Association of National Advertisers, where she led the influential group's interactive initiatives.

She also held management positions at Weight Watchers International, Nestlé and Frito-Lay, overseeing several key brands in those posts.

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