IAB releases update to ad unit guidelines


To set the stage for greater innovation and creativity in online advertising, the Interactive Advertising Bureau announced the release of the “Ad Unit Guidelines 2009 Update.” For the first time, creative agencies lent their insights to the annual ad unit recommendations, joining the media agencies and publishers who have customarily been a part of the process. The news was announced at the IAB’s annual Ad Ops Summit in NYC.

Including creative professionals in the process of updating ad unit guidelines is a key aspect of the IAB’s Reimagining Interactive Advertising initiative, which brings together leaders from creative agencies, media agencies, and publishers to discuss next steps in the creative evolution of digital marketing. The resulting joint publisher-agency working group, the Reimagining Interactive Advertising Task Force, looked at industry-wide impression count reports, ad unit availability, agency-side effectiveness reviews and creative preferences. With the new criteria, it made recommendations on the current list of eighteen standard ad units, including:

* In order to be considered a standard, an ad unit must be commonly bought and offered throughout the marketplace; only seven of the 18 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.

In 2010 the Reimagining Interactive Advertising Task Force will release “Rising Stars,” the first list of ad units to be identified by the task force using qualitative criteria of perceived effectiveness and creative preference to encourage innovation and creativity in online advertising. “Rising Stars” may ultimately become standard ad units if and when they meet the quantitative requirements for adoption and marketplace impressions.

“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,” said Randall Rothenberg, IAB CEO. “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.”

To review IAB Ad Unit Guidelines Update, see http://www.iab.net/adunit