Ibrahimi quits IASH as C4 and AOL sign up

LONDON - Khalil Ibrahimi, head of internet trade body IASH, is to be replaced by an independent chairman before the end of the year, as the sector strives to revive its reputation.

Media giants Channel 4 and AOL are to add weight to the online ad sector’s quest for legitimacy by becoming IASH members.

Ibrahimi is also managing director of sales house Unanimis and senior industry figures want his replacement to have an in-depth knowledge of media agencies and independence from network rivalries.

Channel 4 digital sales house 4DS and AOL's Advertising.com are two of six members poised to join the organisation. AdSmart network (which is owned by adrevenue), dgm AdNetwork, Accelerator and behavioural targeting network Tacoda are all set to join IASH.

The new members will miss the first round of auditing by ABC Electronic, the results of which are due out in early October, but will be included in the next round early next year.

The initiatives come after the online advertising sector came under pressure following a series of misplaced ads.

This summer has seen companies withdraw budget from online after ads appeared on websites hosting inappropriate content.

BBC show Panorama also ran an exposé of firms advertising on a violent US website.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau, which oversees IASH, said: "I said at the time of the Panorama programme that there would be more members joining IASH. There are up to 40 ad networks operating in the UK and our aspiration is to get all of the medium and large players on board."

Nigel Gwilliam, head of digital at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, said he welcomed the moves but added that IASH has a long way to go.

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