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Updated IAB Creative Guidelines Provide New Online Ad Standards

In November the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its revised Rich Media Creative Guidelines at the IAB Ad Operations Summit in New York City. The guidelines provide standards for rich media formats such as in-banner video, popup display, expandable/retractable and floating ad units. Standards include dimensions, frame rates, file load sizes and maximum CPU usage.

The revised guidelines are a result of work done by a cross-industry group over a nine-month period. The group obtained requirements from both publishers and advertisers in order to develop guidelines that would provide a positive consumer experience for the viewer.

Significant changes include:

  • Increased maximum frame rates for previously existing rich media formats
  • Increased length of in-ad video play
  • Addition of the IAB’s Rising Stars display ad formats
  • Addition of maximum CPU usage as a guiding metric

“Since we last revised the Rich Media Creative Guidelines (in 2008), brands have greatly intensified their desire to engage consumers through interactive ads,” said Steve Sullivan, VP of Digital Supply Chain Solutions at the IAB. “The Guidelines reflect the increased use of existing rich media formats, as well as improvements in technology available to – and used by – consumers.”

The IAB now has its guidelines for all ad formats in one location on its website. Included are standard ad units and universal ad packages, along with the new rich media formats. Senior VP and CMO David Doty explained the move: “Now that we’ve put creative guidelines for all ad formats in one place…creative shops have a one-stop location for all display ad specifications. We believe that if we make the guidelines easily accessible…creative agencies can do better at what they do best – designing ads to the limits of their creativity.”

At the summit, Adobe Systems Incorporated said it would support the full range of media formats through a new creative validation service called Project Authenticate. Adobe will include the service in its tools, such as Flash Professional, so that ads can be created with guideline compliance. “IAB’s new…guidelines show that interactive advertising has moved beyond the banner ad,” said Todd Teresi, VP and General Manager of Media Solutions at Adobe. “We look forward to working with the entire ad community to fuel the growth of high-impact, rich media brand advertising.”

The new guidelines come on the heels of the approval of a set of methods and practices for ad verification that the IAB released earlier in the month. The two guideline sets are expected to provide a framework that will assure marketers that ad creation and the coordination, execution and accuracy of interactive campaigns has uniformity.

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Adam Vandergang

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