Advertising trade bodies unite to fight ‘annoying ads’

Oct 17, 2017 | Online advertising, Online video, Regulation

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers have come together to tackle four desktop and eight mobile ad units are "annoying, interruptive or obstructive."

The trade bodies have written to the Coalition for Better Ads ( a consortium of brands and media owners including Google, Facebook, P&G and Unilever) to urge that the industry adopt a self-regulatory framework to stop the use of digital ad formats known to provide a bad consumer experience.

In a letter sent to CBA — the unified leaders, that combined represent 2,400 brands, agencies, publishers, and technology companies — proposed that an industry-wide self-regulatory system be implemented.

Called ‘The Better Ads Experience Program’, the framework would encourage companies involved in digital advertising to comply with digital ad standards created by the CBA.

They also asked that internet browser companies and other “delivery technology companies” be involved to help the CBA enforce compliance.

The CBA counts the trade bodies and several tech giants such as Google and Facebook as well as major brands including Procter & Gambleand Unilever as members.

At the root of the issue are eight mobile and four desktop formats that, according to CBA research, are considered by consumers to be “annoying, interruptive or obstructive.” These formats correlate directly with the rise of consumer adoption and use of third-party ad blockers.

Another reason the ad trade body leaders have united around the issue is to flank companies like Apple, which has implemented intelligent tracking prevention to its Safari 11 browser to stem retargeting.

“We already are seeing such chaos develop, with Apple recently imposing its own heavy-handed cookie standards that risk disrupting the valuable advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services,” the letter stated.

“This private, walled-garden approach to internet advertising is untenable. Imposition of these fragmented ‘regulatory’ regimes by dominant platforms will force consolidation among the makers and marketers of media, and of the goods and services on which the media depend for support, and which in turn rely on the media for access to consumer markets.”

The full letter from the 4A’s, ANA and IAB can be found here.