In announced made on Sunday at its annual leadership meeting for the first time ever, a brand leader will be sitting on the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) board of directors.

Jesse Horwitz, co-founder and co-CEO of contact lens subscription company Hubble, is the first representative of a brand to be elected to the board.

Previously, the board represented a perspective from almost every quarter of the digital marketing landscape, such as publishers, platforms, data management and tech.

“I am excited to welcome this key group of innovators who are redefining how brands engage with their customers to join our efforts to grow the interactive media and marketing industry,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO of IAB. “We look forward to working and learning together inside the IAB.”

IAB has taken a deep dive over the past year into how direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are engaging their customers, which culminated with a report that was released Monday.  In the report, it was found that retail is in decline, while the DTC economy has been getting stronger.  According to IAB, it recognized the importance of including a brand voice on its board that after working them on the study.

The organization presented the findings and unveiled its IAB 250 Direct Brands to Watch list at its leadership meeting in Phoenix.

“The digital media and marketing industries are now in the business of brand creation, brand sales, and brand replenishment—and no longer in the business of banner ads and video spots,” said Rothenberg. “Thousands of smaller brands are storming the barriers that once protected the giants and they are changing the craft of marketing and selling. Today, advertising is just one part of an evolvingly complex marketing mix that relies increasingly on first-party data, owned media, self-managed pop-up shops and stores, a feedback loop for rapid and responsive product development, and in terms of ‘traditional’ media, largely mobile and addressable television.”

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