ABCNEWS.com Implements Universal Ad Package

ABCNEWS.com rolled out a site redesign on Friday, tweaking its layout and rolling out four new ad units that will conform to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) recently approved Universal Ad Package.

The news site will now offer advertisers four units: a 160 x 600 pixel “wide skyscraper,” a 300 x 250 “medium rectangle,” and a 728 x 90 “leader board,” and a 336 x 280 “large rectangle.” ABCNEWS.com decided to leave out the 180 x 50 “rectangle” in favor of the larger-sized 336 x 280 unit. Advertisers can still run a 180 x 50 ad, with border filling in the background, the site said.

The four units will replace ABCNEWS.com’s previous smaller offerings. The site offers a wide variety of rich media units, in addition to pop-under ads. Although not in its standard offerings, the site will still be able to accommodate a 468 x 60 banner.

“These changes help advertisers stand out and, by reducing clutter on the page, boost the user experience online,” said Bernard Gershon, ABCNEWS.com’s senior vice president and general manager.

The IAB package of four standard ad sizes was proposed in December and approved by over half of its members earlier this week. The suite is meant to cut down on the dizzying array of ad sizes that sites offer advertisers, in order to make online advertising easier and more efficient, while giving advertisers a standard unit, like the 30-second commercial in TV.

ABCNews.com was one of 27 sites to agree to implement the four-size package within 12 to 18 months. (Other sites in the Walt Disney Internet Group siblings — Disney.com, ESPN.com and FamilyFun.com — have already implemented the package.) So far, 18 sites are compliant, with some notable online publishers among the laggards, including MSN, New York Times Digital and MarketWatch.com.

The 18-month window for sites to implement the package is meant to give them the opportunity to undertake the needed technical changes to their sites.

ABCNEWS.com drew 6.5 million unique visitors in March, ranking 13th news sites, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

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