Advertising Bureau announces standard online ad size


13 Dec 2002

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced the recommendation of a new larger sized ad unit, which when integrated with three existing IAB recommended ad sizes, will create a Universal Ad Package (UAP).

The announcement was made via the IAB’s Ad Sizes Committee, which includes AOL, MSN, Yahoo and CNET Networks Inc.

Several companies have already agreed to offer the new unit and UAP, which is intended to make online advertising as simple to plan and implement as TV and print, increasing the efficiency for online media buying.

IAB says once adopted the UAP will allow advertisers to reach the majority of each publisher’s audience with one set of creative ad formats.

The package was created in response to advertiser demand for simpler more cost-effective units and a stronger creative palette.

Adam Gerber, chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) Interactive Committee said: “The work of the IAB Ad Sizes Committee is evidence that interactive publishers are listening and responding to the needs of advertising agencies.”

The formats, a subset of the existing IAB Ad Unit Guidelines, include 160X600 IMU, 300X250 IMU, 180X150 IMU and the 728X90 IMU.

The 728×90, a newly created IAB ad size provides an expansive horizontal lens through which consumers can view products and brands online. Both the 300X250 and 180X150 ad units feature similar proportions to TV, enabling easier creative development, while the 728X90 and the 160X600 have been designed to sit on the perimeter of the page, allowing advertisers to surround the content with their messaging.

The UAP also features guidelines for standard file weights, formats, animation length and audio. The unit’s recommendation is based on customer feedback, usability studies and brand and traditional click performance tests.

In IAB ad effectiveness research, carried out by Marketing Evolution’s Rex Briggs, it was found that “… the larger format sizes, which are naturally more visible and provide more creative freedom, did prove to be significantly more effective than smaller, standard banners across all campaigns.”

Greg Stuart, President and CEO of the IAB said: “The Universal Ad Package is a very clear signal from publishers that they understand what advertisers need and are moving to facilitate those needs creatively and efficiently.”

The IAB has instituted a feedback mechanism via the IAB website at www.iab.net/standards/adsizes.asp. Industry feedback will be collected over the next two months before a final package is presented to agencies and marketers in February 2003. Compliance by all publishers is expected over the next twelve to eighteen months.

By Suzanne Byrne