IAB Releases Ad Unit Guidelines Update

    November 16, 2009
    Chris Crum

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released the 2009 update to its ad unit guidelines today. For the first time, the IAB is bringing in creative agencies for input on ad unit recommendations. Historically, these have only come from media agencies and publishers.

Randall Rothenberg "By bringing agencies into the process of developing standard ad units, we have taken a step towards improving the creative output and branding potential for interactive media," says Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. "Our next order of business is to drive towards adoption of revised standards that we believe will spur increased investment in interactive advertising—we’ve already proven that there is no medium more accountable—now we have to bring all of its capabilities together to tell great stories to consumers—that’s what advertising is all about."

"Being a part of this process gave voice to the creative challenges that agencies faced with the existing standards, ad units, and technologies, and I believe we’ve found a solid way forward in overcoming those challenges," said Jim Russell, Partner, EVP, Director of Digital Strategy, McKinney. "Our goal was to simplify the existing list and I think we’ve developed a long-term strategy for doing this on behalf of the industry."

The working group created by the combination of creative agencies, media agencies, and publishers is called the Reimagining Interactive Advertising Task Force. The group has updated the criteria for standard ad units. It did so by looking at industry-wide impression count reports, ad unit availability, agency-side effectiveness reviews, and creative preferences. Two recommendations they made are:

– In order to be considered a standard, an ad unit must be commonly bought and offered throughout the marketplace; only seven of the eighteen ad units currently on the list meet the new criteria.

– Ad units will not be removed from the standard list in 2009, but must meet the criteria by the end of 2010

The whole IAB Ad Unit Guidelines update can be found here. Next year, the Task Force will release the first list of ad units.

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