MSN Gathers Online Advertisers, Industry Leaders To Explore Future of Interactive Marketing

REDMOND, Wash., March 4, 2003 — The MSN®
network of online services will host 400 top advertisers, online publishers and representatives of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and other industry leaders this week to discuss how unified efforts — including several guided by MSN — are addressing industry challenges and strengthening interactive marketing.

Highlights of the fourth-annual MSN Strategic Account Summit, a three-day, invitation-only event that begins today and runs through Thursday at Microsoft Corp.’s Redmond campus, will include an unprecedented panel discussion with senior executives from America Online, CNET Networks Inc., MSN and Yahoo! Inc. and a keynote address from Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.

Speakers will describe the latest cross-media research into the optimal overall media mix of online and offline advertising; how unifying efforts by the IAB and other industry leaders are spurring standardization among online publishers; and how the industry is driving online best practices — which MSN helped shepherd — to achieve the goals of its advertisers.

“While MSN provides access to a huge audience and a great environment with the ability for advertisers to interact with consumers, our goal is to make advertising easy to sell and easy to buy online. The strides that are being made to prove the value and ease of online advertising are greater than just our own efforts. The entire industry has benefited from the efforts of the IAB and other interactive advertising leaders to build this medium and create maximum results for advertisers,”
said Joanne Bradford, chief media revenue officer for MSN.
“This summit gives us an opportunity to share with our advertisers the progress we’ve made collectively and as individual online publishers.”

Speakers Tackle Challenges, Offer Directions for Online Advertising

The summit will include a panel discussion that will bring together top executives from MSN, AOL, CNET Networks and Yahoo! to discuss how the industry is working to address key obstacles facing online advertising. Richard Bray, vice president of MSN North America; Lon Otremba, executive vice president of AOL Interactive Marketing; Greg Coleman, executive vice president of Yahoo! North America; and Shelby Bonnie, chairman and chief executive officer of CNET Networks, will discuss some of the initiatives the industry is mutually tackling, including best practices, ad size and rich media standards, and media measurement standards such as reach and frequency.

Bonnie, who is also chairman of the IAB, said he appreciates the opportunity to come together and explain to a large gathering of advertisers the strides that have been made since the IAB and other publishers began working together to tackle mutual challenges.

“When it comes to building the interactive marketing industry, online publishers realize the need to play ball on the same court if we hope to get advertisers to the game,”
Bonnie said.
“By coming together at this summit, AOL, CNET, Yahoo! and MSN hope to show how seriously the entire online publishing industry takes the issues of standardization, best practices and our other mutual challenges.”

Ballmer Details MSN’s Future Directions

A broad cross-section of other speakers will also address attendees during the rest of the summit.

  • Ballmer, who will discuss Microsoft’s vision for MSN and what the company is doing to address the needs of MSN customers

  • Al Ries , chairman of Ries & Ries Consulting and author of the book
    “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR,”
    who will describe new and complementary roles for public relations and advertising

  • Joseph Jaffe , marketing consultant and former director of interactive media at the TBWAChiatDay advertising agency and OMD USA media communications, and Gayle Troberman , director of custom solutions at MSN, who will show how marketers are developing interactive marketing strategies that have proven effective in achieving campaign results

  • Rex Briggs , founder of Marketing Evolution, who will show how cross-media research is determining the optimal mix of media for advertisers to achieve their marketing goals

  • Anne Cohen Kiel , design anthropologist for MSN, and Dennis Wixon , user eXperience engineering manager of MSN, who will describe how MSN developed a Real People Real Data program, which put researchers into the homes of actual users to define and refine some of the service’s most important features

In addition to the presentations, summit attendees will meet with MSN senior product managers to see demonstrations of MSN sites. They will also have an opportunity to tour the Microsoft Home, a prototype living space of the future on the Redmond campus that integrates many of the consumer technologies the company is developing, and the Center for Information Work, a prototype work environment on campus that includes future products and technologies developed by Microsoft researchers to enhance productivity.

About MSN

MSN has 9 million subscriptions and attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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