LONDON: The Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) has launched the UK Digital Upfronts, a platform for marketers and digital agencies to showcase the best of what the industry can offer and to exploit the full brand potential of digital media.

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of its flagship Engage event, which takes place in London between 13th and 17th October, the IAB said it wanted its new digital platform to allow brands to "get a real sense of the possibilities digital has to offer".

"We're launching IAB UK Digital Upfronts to provide marketers and agencies with an opportunity to preview and evaluate premium digital advertising opportunities," said IAB CEO Guy Phillipson.

"We anticipate the UK Upfronts will be a high profile platform for the industry's finest inventory, as well as a great networking occasion for all involved," he added.

Several major digital companies – including AOL, DigitasLBi, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo – have already confirmed their support for the initiative and the IAB plans to use October's Engage event to accredit the most innovative entries.

Phillipson explained that because digital has grown into a mature industry, it has now become essential that practitioners find new ways of working together to deliver the full potential of digital.

Writing in The Drum, he said the IAB UK Upfronts would be useful for brands, media owners and content creators too.

Brands would be able to evaluate premium digital opportunities during the planning phase, he said, while media owners could showcase premium content, and content creators would be able to find new partners to develop more original content.

He went on to predict that distinctions between brands, media owners and content creators may "disappear entirely" in the future, if it is not happening already.

"It's essential that every marketer has a robust grasp on the opportunities available through digital media," he said. "To help with this, it's equally vital that we in the digital world make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand what can be achieved."

Data sourced from IAB, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff