The Encarta Encyclopedia states that advertising is a "form of commercial mass communication designed to promote the sales of a product or service, or a message on behalf of an institution, organization, or candidate for political office." There is evidence that advertising existed thousands of years ago, but it only became a major industry in the 20th century. With the advent of the internet, the industry has grown even more.
The first newspaper ad was published in 1672 and offered a reward for the return of 12 stoles horses. The first regularly published newspaper in America, the Boston News-Letter, began running ads in 1704. Benjamin Franklin made them more legible 25 years later by using larger headlines. (Advertising).
Internet advertising has grown over the last several years. In 1995, around $54.7 million was spent, $300 million in 1996, $1 billion in 1997, and around $2 billion was spent on internet advertising in 1998 (O"Guinn,p.542). With this steady growth there has been an increasing need for industry standards.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) was founded in 1996 to oversee the relatively new business of online advertising and to create some sort of industry standard. Its goals are to provide and promote the effectiveness of interactive advertising to advertisers and agencies, to serve as the key advocate on behalf of sellers of interactive advertising, to increase the share of advertising and marketing dollars that interactive media capture in the marketplace and to be the primary source of information and expertise about interactive advertising and marketing for its members and for the advertising community at large (Shelby).
The IAB compiled a list of the top reasons to use interactive advertising and how to measure performance.