In order to be considered "standard," an online ad unit should be commonly bought and offered throughout the marketplace, according to revised guidelines released Monday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
For the first time, creative agencies were asked to lend their insights to the annual ad unit recommendations, joining media agencies and publishers that have historically been a part of the process.
Including creative professionals in the process of updating ad unit guidelines was considered a key aspect of the IAB's "Reimagining Interactive Advertising" initiative, according to Randall Rothenberg,pPresident and CEO of the IAB.
"We have taken a step towards improving the creative output and branding potential for interactive media," said Rothenberg.
Just seven of the eighteen ad units presently deemed to be standard by the IAB meet the new criteria. Those ad units will not be removed from the standard list in 2009, but are expected to meet the new criteria by the end of 2010.
Next year, the Task Force will release "Rising Stars," the first list of ad units to be identified by the task force using qualitative criteria of perceived effectiveness and creative preference. The so-called "Rising Stars" may ultimately become standard ad units if and when they meet the quantitative requirements for adoption and marketplace impressions.
"Our next order of business is to drive towards adoption of revised standards that we believe will spur increased investment in interactive advertising," said Rothenberg.
Separately on Monday, the IAB released an update to the Digital Video Ad Serving Template that it created in July 2008 to standardize the communication protocol between video players and servers. VAST 2.0 permits optional tracking of companion ads and other ad elements, provides support for multi-part creatives, allows for a broader range of digital video ad products, and attempts to clarify various technical requirements.