Tuesday, September 21, 2004
IAB ANNOUNCES FINAL RICH MEDIA ADVERTISING GUIDELINES FOR OVER-THE-PAGE UNITS

Includes Industry Compliance Program for Publishers and Technology Providers

New York, NY (September 21, 2004) – Today, at Interactive Advertising World Conference and Expo, the IAB, in conjunction with its Rich Media Task Force, announced the final guidelines for Over-the-Page Rich Media units, including, Expandable Ads, Floating Ads, Between-Page and In-Stream Units. This specification set was designed after reviewing extensive industry feedback received over the last two months. The IAB has developed a compliance program to assist advertisers in identifying those publishers and technology providers who are compliant with the guidelines.

The Rich Media guidelines were developed to further enhance the user experience without constraining creative opportunities for marketers and will improve the efficiency and ease of planning, buying and creating online media.

Only IAB Members are eligible to receive the specially designed “compliance seal.” Compliant publishers agree to accept any agency or advertiser creative executions that follow the guidelines specifications, providing they accept that particular rich media ad size unit. Technology providers are deemed compliant providing they will support the serving of all ads conforming to the guidelines specifications.

IAB members that are or will be compliant in the next 12-18 months include: 24/7 RealMedia; Advertising.com; American Greetings; AOL; AtlasDMT; Belo Interactive; Cars.com; CBS Marketwatch; CheckM8; Classmates.com; CNET Networks; DoubleClick; Edmunds; Electronic Arts; Eyeblaster; Fastclick; Forbes.com; Interpolls; iVillage; Kelley Blue Book; Klipmart; MSN; Oddcast; Pointroll; Reuters; Sportsline; TVGuide; Unicast; Univision; USAToday; Vibrant Media; Viewpoint; The Wall Street Journal Online; Walt Disney Internet Group, weather.com; Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive and Yahoo!

Highlights of the guidelines include the following:

All Audio must be user-initiated with the exception of ads that run in a context where the user has already accepted audio (i.e. an ad that runs during a user initiated movie trailer containing audio.)

All ads must offer a “close box” or “skip-ad” button (specifics vary by ad – see chart below.)

Animation length for In-Page, Expandable and Over-the-Page Ads are 15 seconds. Animation length for Between-Page and In-Stream Ads is either 15 or 30 seconds.

“As broadband usage widens, advertisers are recognizing the benefits of creating rich media advertising. These guidelines will encourage advertiser use by creating an industry-wide advertising platform that advertisers and their agencies can smartly utilize across multiple publishers without restricting creativity.” said Adam Gelles, Director, Industry Initiatives, IAB.

The IAB and the IAB Rich Media Task Force are updating these guidelines in order to recognize and address critical innovations and changes in Rich Media currently used by advertisers, as well as the extraordinary growth rate for the segment.

IAB Rich Media Task Force:

The Rich Media Task Force is chaired by Mike Hurt, Director, Group Planning Manager, MSN and Todd Teresi, VP Sales Operations, Yahoo! Participating companies include: 24/7 RealMedia, About, Inc., AccuWeather.com, Advertising.com, American Greetings.com, AOL, AtlasDMT, Belo Interactive, Bluestreak, Classified Ventures (Cars.com), Cartoon Network, CBS MarketWatch.com, CheckM8, Classmates.com, CNET Networks, CondéNet, DoubleClick, Edmunds.com, Electronic Arts, The Excite Network, Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, Falk North America, Fastclick, Homestore.com, IGN/GameSpy, Interpolls, iVillage Inc., Kelley Blue Book, Klipmart, Macromedia, Morningstar.com, MSN, PointRoll, Solbright, Prospective Direct, Skyworks Technologies, Terra Lycos, TV Guide Online, Unicast, Univision, USAToday.com, ValueClick, Vibrant Media, Viewpoint, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, weather.com, and Yahoo!.

About the IAB

Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents leading interactive companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising. IAB members are responsible for selling over 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising. For more information on the IAB please visit www.iab.net.

Marla Nitke IAB
212-380-4714
m[email protected]