The Internet Advertising Bureau released on February 26, 2001 a new set of online ad guidelines, added to the existing guidelines, designed to boost the sagging industry and revive marketers' interest in Web media.

According to the IAB's vice chairman Richy Glassberg, who is also chairman and chief executive of Phase2Media, the goal of the new ad types is "to help publishers, advertisers and their agencies make the Internet a more effective marketing medium."

Glassberg oversaw the IAB task force responsible for rolling out new voluntary ad recommendations. The group had been anticipated to recommend that its users adopt larger and more obtrusive ad designs than it had in 1996, when it first approved the now-ubiquitous 468 x 60 banner ad. Seven new ad types are now added to existing ad types. The new designs include two vertical ads and five rectangular ads.

The sizes are an 120 x 600 "skyscraper," a 160 x 600 "wide skyscraper," a 180 x 150 "rectangle", a 300 x 250 "medium rectangle", a 336 x 280 "large rectangle", a 240 x 400 "vertical rectangle" and a 250 x 250 "square pop-up" ad. The IAB also said it would no longer include the 392 x 72 pixel banner from its recommended sizes, since that size is rarely used.

According to the IAB, the new ad standards are designed to expand marketers' options in online media. For one, the ads are simply larger -- giving advertisers more screen real estate to work with. Additionally, the three horizontal "rectangle" sizes are in the same proportions -- which could potentially allow marketers to easily reuse the same creatives in different ad sizes.

"The goal of the [IAB's] Ad Unit Task Force is to help publishers, advertisers and their agencies make the Internet a more effective marketing medium," Glassberg said. "The innovations ... we are recommending offer the industry greater flexibility and expanded capabilities and choice for the creative community. We believe that their wide adoption will create a more effective medium, for cohesive branding and direct marketing campaigns."

"We recognize that sites will have to go through some site redesign if they deploy the new units," IAB chief executive Robin Webster said in a letter to member companies. "But we believe that adopting some of the larger, interactive creative units will be for the betterment of publishers and marketers alike ... which, of course, is the ultimate goal of the IAB."

The IAB did shy away from recommending standards concerning the use of rich media. In fact, the group said it was recommending that publishers initially accept ad file sizes of only up to 15K to 20K -- less than what's typically required for rich media ads. It said that publishers and client could discuss larger file sizes on their own.

Contacts: Internet Advertising Bureau

Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (212) 455-8020
New Standard Banner Ad Type & Sizes (February 26, 2001)
Skyscraper Wide Skyscrapter
120 x 600 180 x 600
MediumRectangle Rectangle
300 x 250 180 x 50
Large Rectangle Vertical Rectangle
336 x 280 240 x 400
Square Popup
250 x 250
4 4 4 4
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