The IAB is set to ditch a raft of online ad formats – including fixed-sized, floating, pop-up, auto expand and auto play ads – from its recommended list, in an effort to improve consumers’ online experience and reduce the threat of ad blocking.
The IAB’s current portfolio of 33 different ad formats will reduce dramatically and will only comprise those which are flexible, in that they use responsive design to automatically resize to best fit whatever device they will be served on, and compliant with its LEAN principles (Light file size, Encrypted, Ad Choices-enabled and Non-invasive).
The move follows Google’s decision to punish sites with large intrusive ads, such as pop-ups, by pushing them down its search rankings.
The new formats – created by the IAB Tech Lab and chosen based on a combination of industry feedback, consumer research and testing – comprise display ads and native ads and reflect new content experiences like emoji ads, 360-degree image and video ads, virtual and augmented reality ads.
“These represent the next generation of online ads and will suit all parties involved,” said Steve Chester, the IAB’s director of data and industry programmes. “Consumers will get a better ad experience whilst the industry can focus on a smaller number of ad formats which significantly reduces complexity.
“It’s all about quality over quantity – a mantra the digital industry perhaps hasn’t adhered to often enough – which should help reduce ad blocking. It’s about formats being device agnostic and re-sizing based on the screen size” reinforced Chester.
There is a public comment period on the new formats which runs until 28 November, 2016, after which the IAB Flex Ads Working Group will evaluate the comments received, make any necessary revisions, and release a final version.
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