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Better Standards Called For By Online Advertisers Group

Better Standards Called For By Online Advertisers Group
The advertising industry was urged to stop using annoying online marketing formats that have fuelled the rapid rise of ad-blockers by a broad coalition of advertising trade groups, ad buyers and sellers from Western Europe and the United States.
Pop-up advertisements, auto-play video ads with sound, flashing animated ads and full-screen ads that mask underlying content from readers or viewers are included in the types of ads the coalition has identified as falling below standard.
A prolonged debate over whether to rein in abusive ad practices or simply freeze out consumers who use ad blocker and still expect access to premium content has started by the explosion of ad-blocking tools.
After a study in which more than 25,000 web surfers and mobile phone users rated ads, it was publishing the voluntary standards, the Coalition for Better Ads said on Wednesday.
The advertisers were called on to avoid six types of desktop web ads and 12 types of mobile ads that the group identified and believes as falling beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.
The ad formats identified by the coalition "have already been discouraged for years by these bodies and yet are still commonplace", said Matti Littunen, research analyst at Enders Analysis focusing on digital media.
Advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever and news publishers including News Corp, Washington Post and Thomson Reuters, the corporate parent of Reuters News along with major advertising associations from Britain, France, Germany and the United States, online ad platforms Google and Facebook makes up the coalition.
"This is an opportunity, with the breadth of our participation, to actually not only capture what the consumer doesn't want but also to really educate and take action to make that a reality in the online experience," said Chuck Curran, a lawyer for the coalition, on a call with reporters.
"It's that measurement of the point where the consumer is not just dissatisfied with the ad experience but actually more likely to use ad blockers and this is what we capture with the better ads standards."
According to estimates from Dublin-based PageFair, a firm that helps advertisers find ways to overcome blockers, up 30 percent from a year ago, ad-blocking, which has surged steadily since 2013, covered 615 million computer or mobile devices in 2016. That's 11 percent of the world's online population.
Ad-blockers were crimping its revenue, warned Facebook, the second largest advertising platform after Google, in 2015. While implementing technology to make ads on its site tamper proof, by in effect blocking the ad-blockers, it has responded by severely curtailing unpopular ad formats.
Still, Littunen questions whether the measures go far enough.
"Some reasons for ad blocking are not addressed by this, most notably long load times (due to poorly optimized ad content or excessive server calls by third party tracking software) and the lack of easy consumer control over how their data is collected, profiled, and used for ad targeting online," Littunen said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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