New standards for online advertising

FEDMA 23 Sept. – After years of discussions, two initiatives came out last week to set new standards on the online advertising. Firstly, AdBlock Plus launched its own Acceptable Ads Platform, setting criteria of size and labeling for ads. Two days after, the Coalition for a Better Ads,  formed by leading associations and companies involved in online media, announced its project to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising.

AdBlock Plus, the world’s most popular ad blocking tool, announced on the 13th September the launching of its own ad network called the Acceptable Ads Platform, created in tandem with publisher platform-provider ComboTag. Available in beta version, the ad-tech platform  allows advertisers to receive ads using pre-settled criteria, which, according to AdBlock Plus, are user-friendly. Only the ads which meet the pre-settled criteria will be shown to people who have downloaded AdBlock Plus’ as ad blocking software (but user can be disabled this new tools). Agreements have been made already with some websites and advertisers which stipulate that only advertising matching the criteria will be displayed when AdBlock Plus users visit these particular sites, thus, enabling  publishers to get their ads on their website.
 
The Coalition for a Better Ads is, the industry response to the challenge of AdBlockers in general. Launched at dmexco, the global conference for digital marketers in Cologne, on the 14th September, the Coalition is formed by a broad membership of advertising associations from Europe and U.S., being supported by companies like Facebook and Google. “Advertising funds the diversity of information, entertainment, and services on the free Internet, but that doesn’t give business a license to abuse the good will of consumers, It is essential that industry create standards to assure that consumers get safe, fast, secure delivery of the sites and services they love” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), presenting the initiative (here the full press release). The Coalition will focus on several initiatives in the coming months:

  • Create consumer-based, data-driven standards that companies in the online advertising industry can use to improve the consumer ad experience
  • In conjunction with the IAB Tech Lab, develop and deploy technology to implement these standards
  • Encourage awareness of the standards among consumers and businesses in order to ensure wide uptake and elicit feedback
  • Draw upon consumer research in shaping the standards.

Today on-line world is perceived by some consumers as websites overflowing by advertising which threatens the speed and safety of the experience. Setting criteria for the online advertising is the right move, and it’s preferable that they should come from the industry itself. Indeed, FEDMA believes that self-regulation is the better way to address this issue. Standards are needed for the market to adapt to the never ending increase in the use of ad-blockers and satisfy better consumer needs.

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