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IAB UK : “Consumers will get a better ad experience whilst the industry can focus on a smaller number of ad formats”

The Internet Advertising Bureau UK is promoting a new portfolio of online ad formats as part of the industry-wide drive to improve people’s online experience and reduce ad blocking.

The IAB’s current portfolio of 33 different ad formats will reduce dramatically and will only comprise those which are (a) flexible in that they use responsive design to automatically resize to best fit whatever device they’ll be served on and (b) compliant with the LEAN principles (Light file size, Encrypted, Ad Choices-enabled and Non-invasive).

The new formats – created by the IAB Tech Lab and chosen based on a combination of industry feedback, consumer research and testing – comprise display ads, native ads and reflect new content experiences like emoji ads, 360 degree image and video ads, virtual and augmented reality ads.

“These represent the next generation of online ads and will suit all parties involved,” said Steve Chester, the IAB’s Director of Data & Industry Programmes. “Consumers will get a better ad experience whilst the industry can focus on a smaller number of ad formats which significantly reduces complexity. It’s all about quality over quantity – a mantra the digital industry perhaps hasn’t adhered to often enough – which should help reduce ad blocking.”

The ad formats no longer backed include all fixed-sized ads, floating ads, pop-ups, auto expand and auto play ads, “its about formats being device agnostic and re-sizing based on the screen size” reinforced Chester.

There is a public comment period on the new formats which runs until 28 November, 2016, after which the IAB Flex Ads Working Group will evaluate the comments received, make any necessary revisions, and release a final version. Comments are being accepted via email to