Most Comply with IAB Pop-Up Guidelines

Compliance with futureInteractive Advertising Bureau (IAB) guidelines may be easier said than done for some marketers. While the majority have adhered to the IAB’s recent suggestion that site visitors not be exposed to more than one pop-up ad per visit, over half expect to encounter technological difficulties when additional measures are recommended.

Eighty-three percent of the 25 online publishers included in a recent CheckM8 Inc. survey reported they were already compliant with the IAB pop up guidelines, or plan to comply in the next few months, but 53 percent said they may have problems complying with future IAB guidelines because of unsupported ad server features.

Survey participants represent a total of seven different ad server technologies, including 24/7 Real Media OpenAdStream, CheckM8 AdVantage, DoubleClick DART for Publishers, DoubleClick DART Enterprise (NetGravity), and proprietary ad servers.

“The results are not surprising if we look back at the history of online advertising and all these different ad servers,” said Oren Netzer, director of business development, CheckM8. Netzer explains that rich media, intrusive ads and inventory management were not part of the online landscape when ad serving technology was initially developed, and some ad servers have not caught up to changes in the industry.

Of those respondents that have met compliance, 72 percent have been able to adhere using their ad server’s frequency capping features, while 28 percent have had to develop or acquire certain technologies to comply.

The problem for some marketers lies in different frequency capping criteria or the application of multiple rules. “We’ve had some initial conversations with publishers to get feedback about the guideline. They all felt it [the guideline] was important but could not always comply, most specifically about frequency capping pop-ups,” said Netzer.

CheckM8 outlines some examples that could complicate compliance, such as 1 pop-up per user per session; 2 floating ads per user per session; 2 interstitials per user per session; no more than 3 over-page ads per user per session; and 3 expandable ads per user per session.

To simplify the issue, 20 percent of respondents have completely banned pop-ups from their sites, and 10 percent ban floating ads.

Internet users have voiced disdain for pop-ups so loudly that the leading search engines – MSN, Google, and Yahoo – have bundled pop-up blockers with their browser toolbars.

“Publishers realize this [the IAB guideline] is best for everyone. They realize that advertisers don’t want to pay for ads if there are negative effects from the users,” said Netzer.

CheckM8 is a rich media and ad serving technology provider. Clients include New York Times Digital, Tribune Interactive, ABC National TV Sales, Terra-Lycos, MSN Europe, E.W. Scripps and iFilm.

CheckM8’s ad server, AdVantage, has, what Netzer calls, “the late mover advantage.” “Being new to market means we have seen everything and how the industry has changed. We had the opportunity build a product that meets today’s challenges and issues,” he said.

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