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Coalition for Better Ads urges Australian industry to adopt consumer friendly online advertising

The Coalition for Better Ads has launched a global push for its consumer friendly online advertising standards, however the local industry is still reluctant to embrace the group’s recommendations.

In its latest announcement, the CBA released its latest research into research consumers’ online advertising preferences which included nearly 2500 Australian respondents out of more than 66,000 surveyed globally.

From the survey the CBA found consumer preferences were consistent across global markets with users again emphasising their disdain for pop-up, prestitial and auto-play ads. Of the ads on offer, the public preferred the less intrusive sticky and inline commercials.

Since the coalition was launched in 2017, the Australian industry has leery of the group’s recommenations with many local publishers serving autoplay and pop-up advertising. In March 2017, IAB Australia announced it had made a deal with the Coalition for Better Ads to setting guidelines for local marketers, brands and publishers to deliver more consumer-friendly online ads.

While North American and European publishers have joined the CBA scheme, to date no Australian publishers are have joined the coalition, although News Corp is a global member.

Gai LeRoy, CEO of IAB Australia told Mumbrella: “IAB Australia always encourages its members to run user friendly ad-formats, so as to maximise positive online ad experiences for consumers.

:Whilst we’re supportive of the user-centric approach taken by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), at this stage we cannot formally endorse all the Better Ads Standards for the Australian marketplace, as our Standards and Guidelines Council (S&G) believe that further work is still required in order to align with local requirements. Our recommendation for the short term is that Australian organisations continue to adopt the IAB global standards, whilst adhering to the core principles of the Better Ads Standards.

 “The S&G Council are of the view that the specifications for some of the proposed Better Ads Standards, as they currently stand, would pose a risk to a number of different creative ad formats for the Australian market. Standardisation is important, but not if it results in killing creativity by being overly restrictive.

“For instance – the Standards and Guidelines Council believes that consumers should retain the right to be able to user-initiate full-screen web-based creative ad formats, if they so choose.  Additionally, the Better Ads Standards do not make any allowance for ad experiences within in-app environments, in which creativity and interaction are often so critical for Australian marketers.”

IAB Australia’s Gai Le Roy says the CBA’s recommendations limit Australian marketers’ creativity

Along with News Corp, the Better Ads Coalition includes a range of technology vendors, advertisers adtech companies, publishers and media agencies. Prominent members include Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, Facebook, Thompson Reuters, Group M, Omnicom Media Group and Google.

Last year Google pushed adoption of the standards by blocking non-complying ads on its Chrome web browser in North America and Europe. The global giant intends to roll out the policy global from July 9.

A spokesperson for the Coalition for Better Ads told Mumbrella they are optimistic about the Australian industry eventually coming on board: “IAB Australia and the Australian Association of National Advertisers are affiliate members of the Coalition. Both have been tracking and supportive of the Coalition’s work even as the initial focus has been in North America and Europe.”

“The groups refer briefly to the Better Ads Standards in their Australian Digital Advertising Practices and are affiliated with other organisations that mention the Standards in their best practices, including the World Federation of Advertisers (AANA is an affiliate; Standards referenced in WFA’s Global Media Charter) and other national IABs (US and other national groups promote the Standards in multiple ways).”

“We look forward to continuing our work with both groups to drive further adoption of the Standards in Australia The Coalition welcomes the involvement and support of Australian publishers.

“We have publishers who participate directly as Coalition members and others who work through their trade associations who are members. Some certify their compliance with the Coalition’s Standards by participating in its Better Ads Experience Program and many, many others adopt the Standards into their business practices without being directly involved with the Coalition itself.

“I expect to see publishers in Australia participate in a similar range of ways. In addition to working directly with Australian trade associations and their members, we expect that the Coalition’s members who have adopted the Standards in other markets will have conversations locally very soon to discuss plans that should generate momentum in the coming months.”

From its global survey the CBA found following types of desktop ad experiences fell beneath the initial Better Ads Standard: pop- up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdown and large sticky ads.

For the mobile web environment, the following types of ad experiences fell beneath the Better Ads Standard: pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and large sticky ads.

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