What You Need To Know About IAB’s New Ad Standards -

What You Need To Know About IAB’s New Ad Standards

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) published New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio for web and mobile advertising which creates a proper environment for publishers who want to increase their revenue and for users who will avoid unpleasant experiences. This document was realized after gathering feedback for a public comment draft released in September, last year.
Now, let’s see. Do you want to fight against ad blocking phenomenon? We can’t hear you… Do you really want to fight against ad blocking phenomenon? Yes? Then let’s understand and follow the best practices of New Ad Standards published by IAB.

Check out the best mobile ad formats and mobile ad sizes to find out which one is best for your app!

What Are LEAN And Flexible Ad Experience?

LEAN principles represent a guideline for a complex of Lightweight, Encrypted, AdChoices supported and Non – invasive advertising and express the following attributes:

  • Respect
  • Control
  • Choice

Flexible Size Ad Specifications come to improve the entire aspect of promotional content for mobile devices, across multiple screen sizes and different resolutions.

Image Source: https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IABNewAdPortfolio_FINAL_2017-07.pdf

Mobile Advertising Best Practices

Now, that we defined the elements which determine the right directions for mobile advertisers let’s see the recommendations from IAB. Keep in mind that some formats remain the same while others will be changed or delisted.

Let’s check out how you can easily advertise in mobile apps today!


Animations are considered pictures in motion without video formats like mp4. While you create them with JavaScript, you must use inline CSS and you have to program the animations to load asynchronously.

  • Must Be Host Initiated. It isn’t necessary user’s intervention for starting the animation but it should begin when the ad is visible.
  • Must Not Exceed 15 Seconds. It is mandatory to maintain the animations under 15 seconds and remember that looping is not allowed.
  • Flashing, High Contrast, Fast Moving And Bright Color Animation Are Not Recommended. It goes without saying that the purpose of the animations isn’t to make users go blind. So stay away from any elements that have this effect.

Ad Expansion

Ad expansion, as you know is when an ad becomes bigger during its display.

  • Must Be User Initiated. Users are the ones that need to interact with the creatives for increasing their size. The action should be completed with a small gesture like clicking, tapping or swiping. Hover and Rollover aren’t allowed anymore.
  • Full Screen Is Recommended. In the moment users decide to expand the ads, those should be positioned in the center and they have to occupy the entire screen.
  • Must Have A Clear And Discrete Close Button. Expanded ads must allow users to close them whenever they want with a small but visible button.


Interstitials are defined like ads displayed before, between and after the original content.

  • Must Be User Initiated. Interstitials should appear when users are making a break from their activity.
  • Must Have A Clear Close Button. Users must be able to close the ads if they want to do that.
  • Not Present A Forced Countdown. Interstitials must be closed in the exact moment when users press the button without the annoying countdown.

Mobile Adhesion Banners

Ads that stick to the top or to the bottom of the screen are allowed but with a few conditions.

  • Ad height should be less than 25% of the screen height.
  • It should contain clear delimitations which separate it from the original content.
  • Their width should match the screen width.
  • Mobile adhesion banners must have a clear cancelation button on the top, right corner, with the “X” symbol. Its dimensions should respect the 50 X 50 dp and it must be visible from the start. Along with that button you can add a discreet call to action like “Close”, “Cancel” or “Go to content”.

No More Pop – Ups

Pop – ups are those ads that appear in the middle of users’ actions or the ones which “float in”, “slide in” or “fly in” without users’ permission. They aren’t allowed anymore being considered too intrusive.
Anchored Expendables Is Recommended
If we combine the requirements displayed by IAB we realize that anchored expendables are the most efficient for convincing users to pay attention to our message.

New Advertising Formats

We arrived in a point where we should highlight the new techniques for presenting promotional content.

Vertical Video Advertising Standards

With the change of customers’ behavior, which prefer to use their phone in portrait mode comes the necessity of displaying ads with the help of vertical videos for providing a better experience. In this case, you should create short clips, under 30 seconds. Text overlays are more recommended for sending a message to your users than default audio sounds which are not allowed. Keep in mind that you should go with full screen video and forget about ad expansion.

360 – Degree Images And Videos

IAB listed some recommendations for 360 – degree images and videos but it announces that there will be changes since this format is still in the early stage.
360 – Degree image ads are full 360 – degree pictures using .jpg, .png and .gif created for engaging users which are the ones who start the ad by swiping and shaking the phone.

360 – Degree videos are special video ads that must be initiated by users and like the 360 – Degree images, they can be served as interstitials in VR experiences. You also must add user controls like play, stop, pause and mute. The format required is 16 X 9 for landscape or 9 X 16 for vertical video.

Virtual Reality Ads

Virtual reality ads, although in basic stages, represent promotional content presented in virtual medium and they can have two – dimensional or three – dimensional aspect. Brands will show ads in virtual world which will be very similar to their products in real life. A retail owner can even create a store almost identical for a virtual game. Nevertheless, the ads must integrate with the main experience of the app and they shouldn’t be represented like overlay banners. Next, you should take a look at the best practices for an entire virtual room.

Augmented Reality Ads

Augmented reality ads are new services provided by big players in this industry. Along with intelligent features like location and object or image recognition they offer an interesting adventure for users. The initiation trigger for an AR ad could be a marker like QR codes or other well designed image or it could be an AI algorithm specially created for this purpose with the help of device camera. The content presented can be static, dynamic or immersive. In the moment the ad is initiated it can remain in the same place or it moves on the screen along with the object that started it.


The conclusion is very simple and straightforward: With so many friendly solutions and really innovative formats like Augmented Reality Ads or 360 – Degree creatives why to punish users with pop – up ads and other flashing and irritating types?


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