October 18, 2017

The 4A’s, ANA, and IAB joined together today to propose an industry-wide self-regulatory system that would banish the most offensive advertising formats from the internet.

In a letter to the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA)—a group formed by more than a dozen advertising trade associations, advertisers, publishers, and agency groups in September 2016 to develop global standards for online advertising—the three leading advertising industry trade groups asked the CBA to adopt “The Better Ads Experience Program,” a framework by which companies involved in digital advertising would pledge to comply with the digital ad standards set forth by the CBA. The trade association heads—4A’s CEO Marla Kaplowitz, ANA CEO Bob Liodice, and IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg—also propose enlisting internet browser companies and other “delivery technology companies” to help the CBA police and enforce compliance with the industry program.

“The Better Ads Experience Program” builds on research conducted by the CBA, which last May identified eight mobile advertising formats and four desktop formats that consumers found particularly annoying, interruptive, or obstructive. These types of ads correlated significantly with consumers’ downloading and use of third-party ad blockers.

The three industry groups aim to remove ambiguity in the marketplace and take action—by providing the outline of this concrete solution, which supports the CBA mission “to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising” and to “leverage consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising that address consumer expectations.”

While recognizing the work that the Coalition of Better Ads and its Board of Directors have put in to develop standards and practices for improving user experience on the advertising-supported internet, Kaplowitz, Liodice, and Rothenberg ask the CBA to debate, endorse, and implement “The Better Ads Experience Program” to chart a path forward.



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