IAB overhauls ad guidelines to address autoplay video, emerging formats
- The Interactive Advertising Bureau undertook a significant revision of its standard ad portfolio guidelines, which have now been released for public comment, the group said in a release.
- The digital marketing space continues to evolve quickly, making the IAB’s previously widely-used guidelines outdated and confusing for marketers looking to adopt virtual reality, 360-degree video, emojis and other emerging formats.
- By basing the specifications on HTML5 and integrating aspect ratio-based flexible ad sizes, IAB is addressing the growing desire of brands to reach consumers across multiple screens at scale via the same campaign.
With new ad formats regularly introduced as digital marketing continues to expand and evolve, marketers have had little direction on best practices for getting in front of users for some quickly emerging formats. At the same time, consumers are complaining about ads that are intrusive and, as a result, are embracing ad-blocking software in growing numbers. The news comes at a time when ad quality is a growing focus on the industry: Recently, the IAB, Google, P&G and other industry groups launched The Coalition for Better Ads to address the issue.
IAB hopes to address these issues with new guidelines that insist ads must not automatically expand without user initiation; that hover or rollover are not a substitute for a click for the purpose of ad expansion; and user initiation must be required for auto play video or audio ads. These are just a few of the ways that the guidelines hope to enhance the user experience.
The revised portfolio also introduces guidelines for new content experiences like virtual reality and 360-degree video ads, as well as digital advertising that uses emojis, stickers and more.
“It is imperative that we create new de facto standards that put user experience, control, and cross-device behaviors first – and this new portfolio delivers,” Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, said in a statement. “Its flexible ad units will allow for creative to scale to different sizes without losing any of its original messaging and impact. In addition, by incorporating the tenets of LEAN into the portfolio, consumer experience on ad-supported sites will greatly improve. Brands are sure to reap the benefits.”
The public comment period will run through November 28, 2016, after which the IAB Flex Ads Working Group will evaluate the comments received, make any necessary revisions, and release a final version.