The IAB hopes to be able to quantify how many sales are attributable to performance marketing channels such as affiliate marketing.

Performance marketing disciplines such as lead generation, search and display advertising will also be covered in the report.

It will also look to measure how much is spent on performance marketing and how many jobs are directly and indirectly supported by the industry.

The report will also provide a resource to help non-industry parties such as regulators to better understand the industry, its contribution and part in growing new business channels for SMEs.

If commissioned, it will be led by the IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council, which is headed up by Clare O’Brien, and carried out by an independent, third party research firm.

According to the annual IAB/PwC ad spend figures, the affiliate marketing sector was worth £85 million in 2011 and accounted for £4bn in terms of online retail sales.

The Direct Marketing Association published a similar report earlier this year in a bid to stave of criticism from regulators and strengthen its lobbying efforts.

Earlier this year The Office of Fair Trading warned affiliate marketers over using misleading promotions after an investigation into affiliate network MoreNiche found it was passing off paid-for advertisements as independent consumer reviews.