The Interactive Advertising Bureau and Our March on Washington!

Second Annual Capitol Hill “Fly-In” Gives Voice to Critical Role of Ad-Supported Internet for Small Businesses in the U.S. Economy

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010 – For the second annual IAB Long Tail Alliance Washington Fly-In, Concord resident Richard Sexton, was one of 46 small publishers and e-commerce entrepreneurs brought together by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to tell their elected representatives about the important role played by the advertising-supported Internet in empowering small business growth in America. The Long Tail web publishers representing 14 states spent June 15 on Capitol Hill meeting with 35 House Districts and 12 Senate Offices including members of the Senate Commerce Committee. The Congressional action was part of a two day event, hosted by the IAB to showcase the importance of the ad-supported Internet to the U.S. economy.

Richard Sexton runs Carolina Rustica, a high-end furniture and lighting retailer that operates both a website and retail store in Concord, NC. The company has 10 employees and has been in business since 2000.

“The Long Tail Alliance is an army of entrepreneurs who have created businesses powered by interactive advertising, and their ranks are growing every day,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “It is critical that legislators and regulators understand their challenges and their contributions to the new media revolution, as well as the value they bring to the U.S. economy.”

The IAB Long Tail Alliance Washington Fly-In launched in June 2009 with the release of “The Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem,” the first comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of this ever-more important medium. Among its findings: 2.1%, or $300 billion, of the total U.S. GDP is contributed by the ad-supported Internet, which has created 3.1 million jobs, including 20,000 small businesses. At the same time, the IAB also released “I Am the Long Tail,” a seven-minute video that ties together vignettes from Long Tail publishers across the nation and puts a human face on the Long Tail. It is part of a larger, ongoing effort to collect and share the Long Tail story in online videos at

Mr. Sexton visited four Congressional offices, including those of Representative Larry Kissel of the 8th Congressional District. Kissel maintains an office at Gibson Mill in Concord, directly below the retail store of Carolina Rustica, in a 105 year old former textile mill. “It was a great opportunity to advocate on behalf of an issue that jeopardizes the ease and use of the internet as we now know it. It was also my first experience in working directly with Congressional offices, and I have to say, it was very exciting to be a part of the democratic process”

“Providing an opportunity for IAB Long Tail publishers to speak directly to Congresspeople is the best means to bring to life the very real threat posed by the proposed regulation of interactive advertising,” said Mike Zaneis, Vice President, Public Policy, IAB. “These business owners are the new face of ‘mom and pop’ shops. They represent a diversity of voices that simply could not exist without interactive advertising. This event provides them with a unique forum to be heard.”

This year's Fly-In also included a full day of training sessions, strategic planning panels and roundtable discussions created specifically to address the business interests of small publishers. Long Tail members and ad network and advertising agency executives shared actionable insights on how the community of small publishers can improve their businesses. The two-day event also served as a unique networking opportunity for small publishers, who, for the most part, work from their homes and have limited opportunities to meet other small business owners like themselves.

About Carolina Rustica Inc
Richard Sexton established Carolina Rustica in 2000 as an outgrowth of his retail store on S. Kings Drive in Charlotte, NC. The company has grown ever since, adding new high-end lighting and furniture manufacturers and shipping world-wide. With a staff of 10, anticipated revenues for 2010 are approximately $5 m. Mr. Sexton is frequently featured as an example of small business success using the internet, and speaks to the design, furniture, and internet trade on advertising and social media strategies. To learn more about Carolina Rustica, please go to

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 460 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

For a list of the Long Tail publishers who participated as well as a detailed agenda of the two-day event, please go to

The IAB Long Tail Alliance is a special member category for publishers who sell indirectly, through ad networks, or directly and have revenues under $1 million per year. To learn more about the Long Tail Alliance and to find out how to qualify for membership, please go to:

To view “I Am the Long Tail” and nearly 30 videos from Long Tail publishers, or to submit your own Long Tail video, please go to

Find more information on this event here: