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IAB Chairman LeFurgy to Lead FAST Forward Steering Committee

Internet Advertising Bureau Chairman Rich LeFurgy was tapped to lead the FAST Forward Steering Committee, an industry-wide initiative stemming from Procter & Gamble's Future of Advertising Stakeholders (FAST) Summit in Cincinnati last week.

LeFurgy will leave his position as senior vice president for advertising at Buena Vista Internet Group in October to focus on ensuring the evolution and growth of the Internet as a robust advertising medium.

The new group was asked to help spur mass consumer acceptance of online advertising, create cost-effective ad models, make online media easier to buy and create broadly accepted measurement standards.

The final goal will be to formally propose a set of comprehensive industry standards for online advertising.

The committee represents all segments of the industry through its four member associations--the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Coalition of Advertising Supported Information Entertainment (CASIE), which is a joint initiative of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).

"The online advertising industry stands at a crossroads right now, and I want to continue making a significant contribution to the development of the Internet as it becomes increasingly significant for advertisers," LeFurgy said. "What we, as an industry do from here on out can have very positive effects on the continued growth of the medium and its future success, but only if we all act in the best interests of the industry as a whole."

"As I begin consulting, this is a very opportune moment to devote a great deal of my time to the IAB and to focus on the industry-wide activities of the FAST Forward Steering Committee."

Procter & Gamble's vice president for global advertising, Denis Beausejour, said, "Our experience working with Rich clearly suggests that he has a tremendous grasp of digital media and the issues facing digital advertising. In addition, he has proven to be a smart, objective thinker with the skills necessary to effectively represent the online advertising industry. He is an excellent choice to carry the FAST spirit forward."

"Rich was a pioneer in helping establish Starwave in the online media world a few years ago. Since then, his forward thinking has been of great value to Buena Vista Internet Group," said Jake Winebaum, chairman of Buena Vista.

One of the founders of the Internet Advertising Bureau, LeFurgy served as its chairman for the past two years. The IAB's activities have included evaluating and recommending standards and practices, sponsoring research to document the effectiveness of the online medium and educating the advertising industry about the use of online advertising.