The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced its next wave of voluntary guidelines for seven new ad units; two vertical units and five large rectangular units.
The new voluntary guidelines for Interactive Marketing Units (IMUs) join the roster of recommended guidelines that the IAB already has in place for banners. These units are currently being introduced by Web publishers and are designed to enable marketers to utilize greater interactivity as well as expand the creativity in their online messaging. The IAB's Ad Unit Task Force will henceforth meet on a semi-annual basis to examine the effectiveness of existing ad units, review proposed new ad units and will issue updated voluntary guidelines as appropriate, adding these new voluntary guidelines to the IAB's existing voluntary guidelines for banners. The IAB is also recommending that the 392 X 72 pixel banner be discontinued from its existing list of banner size voluntary guidelines.
Composed of IAB member companies America Online, CNET Networks, Inc., DoubleClick, Excite@Home, MSN, New York Times Digital, Phase2Media, Snowball, Terra Lycos, Walt Disney Internet Group and Yahoo! The Ad Unit Taskforce is chaired by Richy Glassberg, Vice Chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau and Chairman & CEO of Phase2Media, and co-chaired by Rick Boyce of Snowball.com.
"The goal of the Ad Unit Task Force is to help publishers, advertisers and their agencies make the Internet a more effective marketing medium. The innovations of the IMUs 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," said Glassberg. "It should be carefully noted that these voluntary guidelines are additions to the existing banner guidelines that we have previously issued. As our medium evolves, new formats which move the business forward will periodically be recommended to the industry, adding to the arsenal of options available."
The IAB Ad Unit Task Force also has gotten agreement that all sites offering these new IMUs will accept an initial load of 15K for IMU Skyscrapers and a 20K initial load for all other new IMU units. Larger file sizes may also be agreed to by the publisher and the client.
"The original IAB banner guidelines were a landmark for the online advertising industry and helped to create an atmosphere in which advertisers and agencies could logically and efficiently utilize the Internet as an effective ad medium," noted IAB CEO Robin Webster. "The IAB and the industry are fortunate that Richy Glassberg, who chaired the initial banner guidelines effort, has served in that position once more, at the industry's next stage of evolution. In the weeks and months ahead, the IAB will be front and center on issues, continuing to help shape and address items which are of importance to our membership and the industry at large."
"We quite clearly recognize that these guidelines for new units, in some instances, will require publishers to undergo some degree of site redesign," Glassberg continued. "That's not a bad thing, in fact it is a very positive sign for advertisers that publishers recognize, and support their creative needs. This is an ad supported medium, and all of us doing business in it should be willing to work together to achieve the best possible experience not only for our business, but for our consumers, who are at the heart of the success of the Internet."
Representations of the IAB-endorsed new ad unit sizes that follow can be found at www.iab.net. The pixel sizes for the ad units are;
NEW INTERACTIVE MARKETING UNITS
120 x 600 IMU Skyscraper
160 x 600 IMU Wide Skyscraper
180 x 150 IMU Rectangle
300 x 250 IMU Medium Rectangle
336 x 280 IMU Large Rectangle
240 x 400 IMU Vertical Rectangle
250 x 250 IMU Square Pop-up
EXISTING BANNER UNITS
468 x 60 IMU Full Banner
234 x 60 IMU Half Banner
120 x 240 IMU Vertical Banner
120 x 90 IMU Button #1
120 x 60 IMU Button #2
125 x 125 IMU Square Button
88 x 31 IMU Micro Button
Founded in 1996, the IAB is the industry's leading online advertising association. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the online medium and educating the advertising industry about the use of online advertising. Current membership includes companies that are actively engaged in the sales of Internet advertising, with associate membership including companies that support advertising, -- interactive advertising agencies, measurement companies, research suppliers, technology suppliers, traffic companies and other organizations from related industries. A global organization, IAB member countries include; Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and is currently developing membership countries in Asia and Latin America, as well as other countries in Europe. In July of 1998, the Internet Advertising Bureau and the Internet Local Advertising & Commerce Association (ILAC) agreed to combine their organizations for the IAB's local advertising initiatives. In May of 2000, the IAB's Wireless Advertising Council (WAC) joined forces with the Wireless Advertising Industry Association (WAIA) to form the Wireless Advertising Association (WAA), which is an independent operational unit, with its own Board and Officers.