IAB’s New Guidelines for Multiplatform Publishers Using Online Ads

The new version of the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio is a must-know for multiplatform publishers using online ads as part of their audience strategy

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has a major impact on the characteristics of online ads that many multiplatform publishers use to sell products and build a larger audience. Today we’ll take a look at the updated online advertising guidelines from IAB in their recently-released IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio.

To begin, let’s take a look at some background information on the new IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio. According to IAB, “Developed by the IAB Tech Lab, the portfolio’s ad units integrate aspect ratio-based flexible ad sizes, and also incorporate the LEAN Principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive advertising within all of its mobile, display, and native ad formats. This ad portfolio is based on HTML5 technology and also includes guidelines for new digital content experiences such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), social media, mobile video, emoji ad messaging, and 360-degree video ads.”

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New guidelines for multiplatform publishers using online ads: LEAN and Flexible Ads

The term LEAN stands for light, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive. Is it the primary emphasis given in the new IAB portfolio. Here’s a look at the LEAN principals from IAB:

“LEAN ad experience for digital advertising is based on the following principles:

  1. Respect:A consumer’s primary objective is consuming publisher content
  2. Control:A consumer has control over his/her advertising experience
  3. Choice: A consumer decides what content he/she wants to experience and for how long

Accordingly, the LEAN guidance addresses the following:

  1. Light weight user experience to maximize initial page load performance
  2. Non-disruptive ad experiences”

Additionally, here is a look at the Flexible Ad size specifications.

  1. Devices are proliferating in different sizes and with multiple resolutions, especially for mobile devices
  2. Publisher content needs to be delivered to multiple screen sizes and requires ads that can respond to multiple sizes
  3. Creative design needs to scale to different sizes without losing its original message and impact

New LEAN Guidelines on user experience and load performance for multiplatform publishers

Page load time is an important piece to any online business, but particularly publishing websites with archives of content. The following five guidelines are new requirements for LEAN ads.

  1. Use light weight file loads during initial load of the page
  2. Eliminate or minimize render blocking scripts likeCSS, JavaScripts during initial load
  3. Use subload for rendering ad experiences that require heavy file weights
  4. Minimize number of files requested during initial load
  5. Make user initiation required for ad functionality that needs large file downloads

New guidelines are now available for a variety of ad types, including animations, ad expansions, close buttons, user initiation, interstitials, video and auto-play video (e.g. out-stream ads), and audio. For an in-depth look at all of these guidelines, visit the IAB website to access the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio. This information provides multiplatform publishers the opportunity to stay competitive in the world of digital advertising while abiding the new guidelines for properly offering online ads.

If you need help planning online advertising initiatives for building a bigger audience and selling more products, then set up a time to chat with us. We have decades of experience helping multiplatform publishers succeed online.


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