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Trade Association Chiefs Ask Coalition for Better Ads to Establish Industry-Wide Compliance Program to Improve User Experience Across the Ad-Supported Internet

4A’s, ANA & IAB CEOs Call For Coalition to Join Forces with Browser Makers and Delivery Tech Companies for Self-Regulation in Implementing New Digital Ad Standards


NEW YORK, NY (October 12, 2017) —The 4A’s, ANA, and IAB joined together today to propose an industry-wide self-regulatory system that would banish the most offensive advertising formats from the internet.

In a letter to the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA)—a group formed by more than a dozen advertising trade associations, advertisers, publishers, and agency groups in September 2016 to develop global standards for online advertising—the three leading advertising industry trade groups asked the CBA to adopt “The Better Ads Experience Program,” a framework by which companies involved in digital advertising would pledge to comply with the digital ad standards set forth by the CBA. The trade association heads—4A’s CEO Marla Kaplowitz, ANA CEO Bob Liodice, and IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg—also propose enlisting internet browser companies and other “delivery technology companies” to help the CBA police and enforce compliance with the industry program.

“The Better Ads Experience Program” builds on research conducted by the CBA, which last May identified eight mobile advertising formats and four desktop formats that consumers found particularly annoying, interruptive, or obstructive. These types of ads correlated significantly with consumers’ downloading and use of third-party ad blockers.

The three industry groups aim to remove ambiguity in the marketplace and take action—by providing the outline of this concrete solution, which supports the CBA mission “to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising” and to “leverage consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising that address consumer expectations.”

While recognizing the work that the Coalition of Better Ads and its Board of Directors have put in to develop standards and practices for improving user experience on the advertising-supported internet, Kaplowitz, Liodice, and Rothenberg ask the CBA to debate, endorse, and implement “The Better Ads Experience Program” to chart a path forward.

To review the complete letter, please go to iab.com/CBAletter.

About 4A’s
The 4A’s, founded in 1917, is the leading authority representing the marketing communications agency business. It provides leadership, advocacy and training that empower agencies to innovate, evolve and grow. It serves 740 member agencies across 1,400 offices that control more than 85 percent of total U.S. advertising spend. The 4A’s is committed to protecting the best interests of its members, their employees and the industry at large. Its benefits division insures more than 164,000 agency professionals, and the DC office advocates for policies that best support a thriving advertising industry. With its best-in-class learning and career development programs, the 4A’s and its foundation fuel a robust diversity pipeline of talent for its members and the marketing and media industry, fostering the next generation of leaders. For more information, please visit www.aaaa.org.

About the ANA
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) makes a difference for individuals, brands, and the industry by driving growth, advancing the interests of marketers, and promoting and protecting the well-being of the marketing community. Founded in 1910, the ANA provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. The ANA’s membership includes more than 1,000 companies with 15,000 brands that collectively spend or support more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually. The membership is comprised of more than 750 client-side marketers and 300 associate members, which include leading agencies, law firms, suppliers, consultants, and vendors. Further enriching the ecosystem is the work of the nonprofit ANA Educational Foundation (AEF), which has the mission of enhancing the understanding of advertising and marketing within the academic and marketing communities.

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical standards and best practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.


4A’s Media Contact
Nikki Kria
[email protected]

ANA Media Contact
John Wolfe
212.455.8011 (O)
914.659.8663 (C)
[email protected]

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]