Tuesday, November 29, 2005
IAB ANNOUNCES ADVERTISING CREATIVE GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE BROADBAND VIDEO COMMERCIALS

Includes Industry Compliance Program for Publishers and Technology Providers

New York, NY (November 29, 2005) Today, the IAB, in conjunction with its Broadband Committee, announced the final advertising creative guidelines for Broadband Video Commercials online. These creative guidelines were set after an extensive review of industry feedback over the past few months. The IAB has developed a compliance program to assist advertisers in identifying those publishers and technology providers who are compliant with these guidelines.

The Broadband Video Commercial creative 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. These guidelines will allow advertisers and their agencies the ability to develop advertising content that is accepted by many of the leading interactive publishers.

Broadband Video Commercials are defined to include online advertising that may appear before, during, and after a variety of content including, but not limited to, streaming video, animation, gaming, and music video content in a player environment. This definition includes Broadband Video Commercials that appear in live, archived, and downloadable streaming content.

Highlights of the creative guidelines include the following:

  • In-stream commercials may be up to thirty seconds long for pre and mid-roll commercials. Publishers may offer custom lengths for post roll.
  • A recommended minimum of 200 Kbps for encoded bit rates.
  • The minimum player controls present should be Start/Stop and Volume On/Off and Softer/Louder Control. Other recommended and acceptable buttons include Fast Forward/Rewind, Pause, Zoom and other Interactive buttons as needed. The following guidance will be accommodated during play. All buttons should be enabled throughout the play, with the exception of Fast Forward.

The final guidelines are available at www.iab.net/standards/broadband/

We are confident that this final recommendation will benefit advertisers, agencies and interactive publishers, said Greg Stuart, CEO and president of the IAB. Wed like to applaud the Broadband Committee for their diligent efforts in collaborating with members of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)s Interactive Marketing and New Media Committee to solicit feedback and to respond with a set of guidelines that create an industry-wide advertising platform that advertisers and their agencies can smartly utilize across multiple publishers without restricting creativity.

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. Technology providers deemed as compliant are those that support the serving of all ads conforming to the guidelines specifications.

The Broadband Committee acknowledges that there are areas of further examination, not thoroughly addressed in this document and continues to work diligently to explore and clarify these issues for the benefit of the industry.

Such issues may include:

  • Optimum length and ad effectiveness per content category
  • User vs. host-initiated content experience
  • Broadband video commercial serving and tracking
  • Third-party reporting
  • Content
  • Frequency capping

IAB members that are, or will be compliant within six to twelve months include:

  • Advertising.com
  • BusinessWeek Online
  • Cars.com
  • CBS
  • CNET Networks
  • Eyeblaster
  • Eyewonder
  • Fox Interactive
  • IGN
  • Interpolls
  • iVillage
  • Klipmart
  • Lightningcast
  • MSN
  • Nickelodeon, affiliate of MTV Networks
  • NY Times Digital
  • Unicast
  • Walt Disney Internet Group
  • The Weather Channel Interactive
  • Yahoo!

ABOUT THE IAB BROADBAND COMMITTEE

The Broadband Committee is co-chaired by George Stewart, Yahoo!. Participating companies include: A&E Television, About.com, AOL, Arbitron, Atom Shockwave, BusinessWeek Online, Cars.com, CBS, Classmates, CNET Networks, Comcast, comScore, Discovery Communications, Dow Jones Interactive, Dynamic Logic, Edmunds.com, ESPN.com, Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, Forbes.com, Fox Interactive, GameSpot, I/PRO, Interpolls, iVillage, Kaboose, Klipmart, Lightningcast, Massive Incorporated, MSN, Nickelodeon, NY Times Digital, Oddcast, Organic, This Old House, TVGuide.com, Unicast, United Online, USATODAY.com, USWeb, ValueClick, Verizon Superpages.com, Viewpoint, Walt Disney Internet Group, The Weather Channel Interactive, WorldNow, and Yahoo!

ABOUT THE IAB

Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents leading interactive companies that actively engage in, and support the sale of interactive advertising. IAB boasts over 200 members that 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, please visit www.iab.net.

IAB Media Contact:
Lynn Trono
212.380.4707
[email protected]