July 20, 2017 Last Updated 3:03 pm

IAB releases new Ad Unit Portfolio with flexible ad sizes

NEW YORK, NY — July 20, 2017 — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released a finalized version of the new “IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio,” featuring ads that allow for creative to adjust to a variety of screen sizes and resolution capabilities. Developed by the IAB Technology Laboratory, the portfolio’s ad units integrate aspect ratio-based flexible ad sizes, and also incorporate the LEAN Principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive advertising within all of its mobile, display, and native ad formats. This ad portfolio is based on HTML5 technology and also includes guidelines for such new digital content experiences as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), social media, mobile video, emoji ad messaging, and 360-degree video ads.

After the draft portfolio was released for public comment in September 2016, its various ad format specs received industry-wide feedback and underwent extensive testing. As a result, rather than solely offering ad size criteria, the final “IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio” introduces units with specific size ranges—a change that will streamline ad design and production and also simplify buying and selling.

Other key changes from the version released for public comment include:

  • The addition of ad unit specifications for mobile apps as well as horizontal and vertical ad experiences, such as vertical video ads
  • Support for out-stream advertising that adheres to the portfolio’s broader video guidance
  • Standardized guidance on use of video in display ads, with a maximum limit of 15 seconds for all videos that are not user initiated
  • Various updates and guidance on using audio within display and video ad units
  • Non-disruptive ad guidance has been aligned with the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) initial Better Ads Standards
  • Load criteria has been revised to integrate browser on-load events to define the initial load from the subload of the ad content
  • A more precise file weight calculation formula
  • Expanded central processing unit (CPU) guidance
  • New guidance on use of shared libraries

The final version of the portfolio also features guidelines for new digital marketing experiences like virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video ads, as well as digital advertising that uses emojis, stickers, and more innovative features.

“This new ad portfolio puts user experience front and center—benefitting both consumers and the brands that want to reach them online,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “These new ad units have gone through comprehensive testing, with expanded mobile and video capabilities that will take interactive marketing to new heights.”

“This final release of the new ‘IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio’ is a reflection of the industry’s commitment to creating beautiful, user-friendly digital advertising that can easily scale,” said Alanna Gombert, Senior Vice President, Technology and Ad Operations, IAB, and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “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 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.”

“Teads has been working closely with the IAB and IAB Tech Lab over the last year on the new standard ad unit portfolio,” said Jim Daily, Global President, Teads. “As a long-time member, we’re excited to offer our guidance on how best to create a sustainable advertising ecosystem. Teads has always placed respect for the user at the heart of everything we do and we are happy to see IAB is very much aligned with us in working to make advertising user-friendly and non-intrusive.”

IAB and the IAB Tech Lab will support the transition from the earlier standards through a series of webinars, the release of user-friendly demo pages, as well as additional transition guidance. To allow for testing, the Tech Lab is releasing an open source utility for publishers to enable them to quickly insert a flexible-sized ad container and ad server tag for all IAB ad units.

Flashtalking, Flexitive, and ResponsiveAds provided ad creative to support the testing of the new “IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio.”

To download more information and see the final ad unit specs, please go to iab.com/newadportfolio.

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