The IAB Tech Lab is taking action to fight ad blocking. Along with its Ad Blocking Working Group, the IAB Tech Lab is leading several initiatives and the following efforts that are underway:
1. Guidelines and Standards
Alongside efforts to promote secure ad delivery and other consumer protections, the IAB Tech Lab along with other organizations like the Coalition for Better Ads has developed standards and guidelines for non-invasive lightweight ads as well as other standards and software to enable better user experience.
- New Ad Portfolio guidance for lightweight ads incorporates extensive testing to define criteria for ad creatives that allow both ads and pages to load quickly.
- DigiTrust ID for fast-loading content and services. DigiTrust ID helps reduce the number of network calls thus making page load faster.
- Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF): Ensure that users always have access to and control of their privacy by including adChoices options for online behavioral advertising and implementing TCF where applicable.
- Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) provides well-researched and proven guidance for non-invasive ads. This requires compliance with Better Ads Standards for ad experiences and page ad density.
- VAST 4.x for better video delivery and rendering. VAST 4.x (Video Ad Serving Template) includes several features that improve user experience and measurement.
- MRAID 3.0 for better mobile in-app delivery and rendering. The new MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions) version supports faster and better creative execution
- Open Measurement SDK reduces SDK (Software Development Kit) bloat and enables all measurement providers to verify ad viewability and IVT with one SDK Adopt: Open Measurement SDK
2. Detection and Post Detection
The IAB Tech Lab has also developed some open technology script for publishers and other website content providers to consistently and reliably determine whether ad blocking is occurring on a page.
The IAB Tech Lab engineering team in collaboration with IAB members has developed a detection utility as the ad blocking software is often not detectable by publishers’ normal analytics tools.
Most ad blockers operate in a manner that is intentionally resistant to detection. While homegrown or vendor-created detection technologies can be used, their inconsistent discovery of ad blockers results in different measured blocking rates. A centralized code base that determines whether ad blocking is present and is highly resistant will provide consistent measures.
- Detection Script:
The IAB Tech Lab has developed a detection script to consistently and reliably determine whether ad blocking is happening during a page load. This project involved engineers and software developers from member companies.
- Post Detection Tactics:
The IAB Tech Lab Publisher Ad Blocking Primer provides some guidance on what options are available to publishers once ad blocking is detected. It encourages publishers to follow the DEAL process, applying the tactics deemed appropriate based on their relationship with the audience. DEAL stands for Detect, Explain, Ask, Lift restrictions or Limit access in response to consumer choices. Read more here.
- The IAB Ad Blocking Working Group is addressing end users’ experiences and analyzing data about their tolerance to messaging, as well as developing best practices and principles for engaging consumers with ad blockers installed. The Working Group addresses detection from a technical standpoint and analyzes ad blocker behavior.
3. IAB Research
To ensure that we develop viable, long-term solutions, IAB has conducted research around ad blocking and user experience. IAB is also developing new research focusing on web browsers, consumer experience, data calls, latency, and other adverse effects of the supply chain on user experience so that we can make even better decisions about optimized standards and best practices for design, development, sales and operations teams.
New research will address:
- Consumer attitudes and usage
- The internet value proposition
- Utility of advertising to consumers
IAB Members and IAB Tech Lab Members: Want to discuss Ad Blocking? Contact us at [email protected]