Ad body launches new banner sizes

Six-month consultation period leads to eight new shapes which offer ‘greater interactivity’

The UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has agreed voluntary guidelines for eight new ad formats, following research “proving” the effectiveness of online advertising (e-volve last week).

After a six-month industry consultation period, three vertical “skyscraper” spaces and five “highimpact”, large rectangular spaces join the roster of recommended shapes and sizes already in place for banners. Although IAB standards for artwork sizes are revised every 18 months, this announcement represents “the most far-reaching changes” yet, according to the organisation.

The new ad shapes have been designed to offer greater interactivity, as well as give brand messages more impact.

The aim of the consultation period was to help publishers, advertisers and agencies agree common ground. The IAB’s US sister body endorsed seven new ad shapes several months ago.

One finding of last week’s IAB (US) study was that the new larger ad shapes are 25 per cent more effective in lifting key brand parameters such as brand awareness and message association, even after one exposure.

Danny Meadows-Klue, chairman of the IAB (UK), claims the new guidelines are “a major step in the industry’s evolution, and the strength of the research is overwhelming. Banners build brands – we’ve always known that. Last week’s studies prove the brand effectiveness of the new shapes and sizes. The era of just counting click-throughs is dead.”

He adds: “These shapes and sizes give marketers more flexibility and creativity to build their brands using Web advertising. The rapid advances in screen design and the use of “rich media” broaden the ways in which marketers use the Web. As an industry, media owners and agencies must embrace these new sizes, formats and page implementation methods as new tools for reaching traditional brand marketing objectives.”

The IAB UK working party included representatives from 30 leading Internet companies, spanning media owners, media buyers and ad agencies.

The pixel sizes and names for the new shapes and sizes are:

Rectangle (180 x 150)

Vertical Rectangle (240 x 400)

Large Rectangle (336 x 280)

Square Pop-up (250 x 250)

Medium Rectangle (300 x 250)

Wide Skyscraper (160 x 600)

120 Skyscraper (120 x 600)

125 Skyscraper (125 x 600)

Further information on the new banner guidelines can be found at www.iabuk.net.

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