IAB announces addition of brands to its membership, new board members, leaning into digital and direct-to-consumer marketing at annual leadership gathering

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the global trade and advocacy agency for digital media and marketing, is making a slew of announcements on the eve of its Annual Leadership Meeting this week. Key structural changes in the organization include over a dozen new board members, and the decision to include brands in the IAB membership.

While it might seem obvious that brand advertisers would be included in the IAB’s work of promoting digital marketing and developing its standards, the organization has historically worked on the publishing and technical sides — the ad sellers. Opening the door to brand advertisers makes the IAB more holistic, and better informs its advocacy, educational efforts, and promotion of digital marketing generally. “Expanding IAB’s membership to add brand executives to their existing cohort of leaders from digital, media, advertising and creative companies will give IAB full visibility of the entire digital marketing ecosystem,” according to a statement released Sunday evening.

More particularly, the membership expansion decision appears to be driven by a conviction the direct-to-consumer marketing (think podcast sponsorships) is a key progressive movement in the evolution of digital marketing. “This decision to include brands follows a year of efforts engaging with brands culminating in an IAB study on how direct-to-consumer brands are changing the way that companies connect with consumers. During this process, it became clear to IAB leadership that brand leaders represent an important voice which is needed at the table when considering industry priorities and planning strategically for the future,” said the IAB.

Accordingly, the first new board member from an advertising brand is Jesse Horowitz, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hubble, a contact lens company that engages in the sort of direct advertising the IAB is focusing on.

Including brands in the IAB’s internal conversations and committees is not just about one particular type of advertising, though; the decision is pushed by a desire for the entire membership to benefit from buy-side expertise. “Successful brands are using strategies such as bringing programmatic advertising in-house, deploying innovative marketing technologies, and ensuring that their staffs are trained in the most up-to-date digital marketing approaches.”

Including Hubble’s Horowitz, newly announced board members are listed here:

  • Brad Bender, Vice President – Product Management, Google Inc.
  • Krishan Bhatia, Executive Vice President – Business Operations & Strategy, NBC Universal
  • Gina Garrubbo, President and CEO, National Public Media
  • Jeremi Gorman, Chief Business Officer, Snap Inc.
  • Steve Horowitz, President, Ziff Davis
  • Jesse Horwitz, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Hubble
  • Julie Jacobs, General Counsel, Verizon Media
  • Craig Kostelic, Chief Business Officer – Media and Partnerships, Conde Nast
  • Danielle Lee, Global Vice President – Partner Solutions, Spotify
  • Shailesh Prakash, CIO and Vice President of Digital Product Development, The Washington Post
  • Seb Tomich, Global Head of Advertising – Marketing Solutions, The New York Times
  • Abbey Thomas, CMO, Tremor Video DSP
  • Jon Werther, President, Meredith National Media Group

Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Advertising, Chairman of the new board, which contains 39 members.

The Annual Leadership Meeting is in Phoeniz this year, Monday through Wednesday.

Brad Hill