IAB Takes on Washington

  |  February 21, 2007   |  Comments

Industry body also appoints a public policy V.P.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has opened the doors of a Washington, D.C. office to take a hand in shaping regulatory and legislative policy that can affect the interactive advertising industry. The body also created the new position of vice president of public policy, naming Mike Zaneis to the post.

Zaneis joins the IAB from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he served as executive director of technology and e-commerce.

With the founding of the Washington office, Zaneis says his initial plan of is, "Putting together a public policy council, developing positions on key issues, and leveraging the contacts that I have on the Hill, and in the FTC and other places. And then it's a take no prisoners attitude to advocate for our members."

The IAB has been planning its foray into policy-based initiatives for some time, as members have come to appreciate the growing influence state and federal legislation will have on the future of interactive advertising, says Zaneis. As the IAB and others plant their lobbying stakes in the ground in Washington, Zaneis predicts the upcoming Congress will see a number of Internet topics debated on the Hill, including privacy concerns, spyware legislation, data security legislation, and net neutrality.

"Congress is starting to take a look at this and is trying to understand how the Internet really works. And since advertising is the engine that allows the Internet to go, we're going to have to engage with them and do some education on what our members are doing," said Zaneis.

Although the IAB Washington office has grand policy plans, Zaneis does jokingly admit that currently, he's the only employee actually posted in the office.

"It's going to be a one person shop right now, but we have a strong team assembled here in Washington, as we've hired outside council," he said. "It sounds so prestigious until you find out it's just me. But we're going to grow smartly."

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Matthew G. Nelson

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