IAB’s Wireless Advertising Association to Expand to Europe

A predominantly U.S. wireless advertising consortium said Monday that it will expand its reach abroad in an effort to promote standardization in technology and practices.

The Wireless Advertising Association said it hopes to draw in wireless technology firms from Europe, where differing technology standards and a higher penetration of users makes wireless advertising a substantially different proposition.

“We recognize the global nature of the wireless advertising industry and several major European companies have been involved in the WAA since it was initiated six months ago,” said WAA chairman Tim DePriest, who is also vice president of CMGion ad server AdForce’s EveryWhere wireless and emerging media technology initiative.

The WAA came into being earlier this year, with the merger of the Wireless Advertising Industry Association and the Wireless Ad Council, a unit of online ad industry association the Internet Advertising Bureau.

A unit of the IAB, the WAA’s membership consists of some of the leading companies in the wireless arena. Initiatives include the development of standard metrics for measuring ad delivery and consumers’ response, open and compatible wireless advertising technical and creative standards, and an industry-wide privacy policy.

“Now that the WAA organizational structure is in place, we will be conferring with our colleagues in Europe to set up parallel working committees, to achieve a uniformity of guidelines and standards worldwide,” DePriest said.

“We are keenly aware that different areas of the world will have concerns unique to their countries regarding wireless advertising, and that guidelines will differ somewhat from market to market. [This] is the first step to greatly expanding the number of European companies involved in the WAA, and getting closer to the issues they face on a day-to-day basis.”

WAA officials said the association currently is developing proposed guidelines for ad measurement, consumer issues and privacy, creative standards and ad models.

Organizational meetings to be held in Europe will create parallel working committees to those in the U.S., with a conscious recognition of the particular local area practices and regulations. Within the next six months, the WAA said it would schedule similar organizational meetings in Asia and Latin America.

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