IAB releases updated best practices for mobile and digital adverts

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has just released a finished version of its IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio, which provides best practices for ads of a variety of sizes and resolutions.

Best practices are of growing importance in an ever more fragmented advertising industry. Though not every marketer will follow these guidelines, it’s important to establish a rule book to help stave off ad blockers by ensuring mobile and digital ads aren’t annoying to the end user.

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, explains that the latest update is all about the user experience.

“These new ad units have gone through comprehensive testing, with expanded mobile and video capabilities that will take interactive marketing to new heights.”

The ad portfolio is based on HTML5 technology, but also includes guidance on newer formats such as augmented reality, virtual reality, social media, mobile video, emoji ad messaging and 360-degree video ads. Everything complies with the IAB’s LEAN principles, which require ads to be lightweight, encrypted and support AdChoices.

“The updated ad portfolio embraces flexibility and innovation,” said Anthony Yam, Chief Product Officer, Spongecell, and Co-Chair of the IAB Tech Lab Flex Ads Working Group. “Developing this next generation of ads was a complex endeavor, combining ideas from a vast group of contributors. I believe that we’ve created a portfolio that hits all of the marks, enabling beautiful, scalable and respectful advertising that will resonate with today’s consumers across all of their devices.”

The latest draft of these guidelines was released back in September 2016 for public comment and has since been extensively tested. Among one of the key changes, the new portfolio includes units with specific size ranges. In addition, the guidelines have added specification for mobile apps and vertical video ads, support for out-stream advertising, guideance on video in display ads, audio within ad units, non-disruptive standards, load criteria, and many more.

Alanna Gombert, Senior Vice President, Technology and Ad Operations, IAB, and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab, adds that the release is geared towards creating more user-friendly digital ads.

“Whether on a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop computer, these ad units offer responsive solutions that captivate and inspire, while guidance for emerging platforms offers insights on how to approach consumers in new ways – even if they are looking at the world through a virtual reality headset.”

The IAB and IAB Tech Lab will be holding a series of webinars and user demos to make the transition to the new standards easy.