28 February, 2006: The Interactive Advertising Bureau, in collaboration with the digital committees of the Advertising Federation of Australia and the Media Federation of Australia today announced the launch of the first Australian online ad format standardisation.

This announcement demonstrates the industry’s commitment to making online media as straightforward to plan, buy, and create as offline campaigns. The standard ad package comes in response to demands from the planning, buying and advertiser communities for a simplified and cost effective ad offering.

Standardisation will increase the efficiency of planning and implementing online ad campaigns, and will end the confusion created by sites offering a wide range of disparate and custom formats and specifications.

In consultation with the AFA and MFA, IAB Australia has agreed to support a standard suite of four ad sizes in order to move toward consistency, conformity and comparability across sites. While conformity to these standards is voluntary, they are recommended guidelines advocated by IAB member sites to allow advertisers to reach the majority of each publisher’s audience with one set of ad creative formats.

Three of these sizes are in line with the IAB’s global Universal Ad Package (UAP), as well as one of the most commonly used formats in Australia, the 468x60 banner. The package includes large, impactful ad units which will allow advertisers to use greater interactivity and creativity in their online messaging.

The Australian Universal Ad Package includes:

- Leaderboard 728x90
- Medium Rectangle 300x 250
- Wide Skyscraper 160x600
- Standard banner 468x60

The UAP also includes guidelines for file weights and animation length. Details can be found on the IAB Australia web site. These recommendations are based on customer feedback and extensive usability studies conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the US.

Also in a world first for online advertising standards, the IAB, AFA and MFA welcome the inclusion of a basic GetURL/ClickTAG conformity in the agreement. The drastic reduction in ClickTAG errors through this clarity means further efficiencies in trafficking and reduced time spent rectifying issues in production studios.

Individual site designs have led to a multitude of ad formats available in this market. Until now, the wide range of online ad formats has made online planning and buying both complex and time consuming, and has also increased production costs for clients. While the IAB Australia UAP is a major step toward simplifying things for advertisers and agencies, sites can still continue to offer formats in addition to those in the UAP, based on their specific designs and business needs.

The Universal Ad Package was created in order to capitalize on the nature of interactive media as the only truly global advertising medium by embracing a global solution while recognising the needs of our local market.

Patty Keegan, Manager, IAB Australia, said: “The IAB is pleased to help bring these new standards to the Australian online advertising industry. Standardisation will help create further online media planning efficiencies and greatly improve understanding across the industry. We look forward to and welcome the feedback from agencies and clients on the adoption of the Universal Ad Package over the coming months.” Chris Brinkworth, Advertising Federation of Australia Digital Executive member said: “After a decade of incompatibility; this is a milestone that has a very real, very positive "bottom line" effect on many areas of the industry in Australia. Standardisation will lead to greater transparency and comparability in validating the value proposition of online advertising. From a production and trafficking aspect alone, industry estimates reaching 10% of agency head-hours can now be re-invested into more complex and effective creative / campaigns. “

Brendon Cropper, Chairman of the Digital Media Federation Australia says, “The IAB's first completed initiative is a winner. From the Media Federation’s perspective a lack of standard ad formats in the online world has hindered operational efficiencies and confused many clients (the same ad formats have often carried several names). Establishing an industry standard ad package of online creative formats that can be placed across Australia's major internet publishers is well overdue.  We can sincerely thank the IAB for making this a priority as they work with the industry to improve the online advertising market.”


About the IAB

The IAB is the Australia’s leading online advertising industry body.  Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the online medium, and educating the advertising industry and the broader business community about the use of online advertising. The IAB Australia was established in October 2005. Founding members of IAB Australia are Fairfax Digital, Google, News Interactive, ninemsn, Sensis, and Yahoo!7, with operational support from the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA).

For further information about the IAB please contact: iab@aimia.com.au

Patty Keegan
IAB Australia
0411 752 591

Chris Brinkworth
Advertising Federation of Australia
0403 342 584

Brendon Cropper
Media Federation of Australia
(02) 8666 8172