IAB Gets Rich: Releases Guidelines to Standardize Rich Media Ad Units


The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released an update on Rich Media Ad Units as well as added a couple of units to the standard advertising creatives.


A lot of innovative efforts, majorly driven by some BIG players to provide promotional solutions to their advertisers has now been stamped standard with the IAB’s latest update. So, we have the page flip at the right corner, in-video advertising, expandable and retreating ads (like in MSN & Rediff), transitionals that Ad Brite used to pitch a lot earlier and others are all included with minimum standards specs added to them in the update.

According to IAB,


“…these guidelines are intended to provide the industry with a lowest common denominator for creative specifications. Compliance with these guidelines means that a publisher accepts these specs as a minimum and is entitled to keep specifications to these minimums, or exceed them, at their sole discretion.”


Rich Media itself is defined by the IAB as “advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation and excluding click-through functionality) in a web page format” and “may appear in ad formats such as banners and buttons as well as transitionals and various over-the-page units such as floating ads, page take-overs and tear-backs.


Another important aspect of the update is fixing the standard to maintain CPU usage at an optimum level. Rich media applications are usually animation and multiple process driven and hence are CPU intensive. IAB has taken the initiative to fix the maximum level of animation at 18 frames a second.



Click here to see the complete chart of ad units recommendations


Standards on web advertising have often gone for a toss and the fact that there are no individual market specific organizations defining standards itself was a hamper. The need, therefore, was for IAB to strengthen its scope and reach out to a lot more publishers. This update certainly looks at enabling a lot more publishers to function within the purview of what can be said to be an industry standard without risking innovative solutions to the back burner.


As a side note, they have also added two new ad units to the regular banner and contextual ad unit standards by including the, now popular, 300 x 100 rectangle and what I think is an irritating mode of advertising – the 720 x 300 pop under.


What the standards help is to let advertisers and agencies know about the kind of creatives that are acceptable and in use on the web. This saves their cost and help in planning campaigns better when compared to making separate creatives for each site they plan to use for advertising. With the amount of ad networks mushrooming all over, such standardization, especially of rich media creatives, was long due. Perhaps, each niche specific ad networks could come up with a standard solution in compliance with the IAB but customized to the demands and aberrations of their particular niche.


The biggest benefactor, of course, would be the advertisers in any case, while the irony being that their target audience has a general dislike for pestering advertisements.


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