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We All Love to Hate Them

We are surrounded by these things and we all love to hate them, but we cannot ignore that they impact our lives. Advertising is a big business and each of us have been impacted by it in some way. It does not matter if we use our DVR religiously, we are going to be influenced by an advertisement of some sort because the big name companies are inside every TV show and movie we watch. The impact is everywhere.

Many times we are even the advertisement for a company because we like a product and we are willing to open our mouths and say something about it. Sometimes, we do not like a product (or service) and we say something about how bad it is/was. So advertising can have a positive or negative impact on a company’s bottom line. That is why it is important to make sure that it is effective in every aspect.

In the web world, to many advertising is viewed more as an annoyance, but it is a very lucrative and viable part of a business’s marketing plan. It can be critical in the very digital world we live in. Even if we as digital users do not want to be inundated by the influx of ads on a daily basis, it is a result of the world we live in. We live in a world were information is instantaneous and the advertising comes with it. Fortunately, you quickly learn to adjust, adapt, and filter those ads. Unfortunately, these ads are always changing so our filters need to always change too. Perhaps this is what is so frustrating?

For companies who are marketing to all the digital users, it is critical to stay up on current standards and guidelines in order to reach the widest market. As website accepting ads from those reaching out to users, it is important to stay up to date with these guidelines so your website meets standards that are current across the board. This, however, raises questions. How does one know what these are? Who determines these?

Fortunately, there is an organization that does some of the research and analysis for us. They help us understand what works and what is needed and/or wanted. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a group that is comprised of companies that are responsible for selling roughly 86% of the online advertising in the United States. That is a pretty hefty chunk of advertising. From the research and findings that they do, they make recommendations and set standards that make it easier for everyone else.

Of course, as with all standards and guidelines, they get updated from time to time. On February 26, 2012, they released their new updated IAB Display Advertising Guidelines.

With these guidelines there are some new sizes or range of advertising formats. There can also be found a list of advertising formats that are being retired. I was surprised to take a list of the formats that were on the retired list. Many websites are using these formats. I have designed several banner ads in these format sizes. I am aware of many websites that use these format sizes. It will be interesting to see how fast many of these websites update their formats to keep up with modern standards.

All of this being stated, it is important to know what formats are being used on the website that you are looking to advertising on. If it uses a format size that has been retired, then by all means feel free to continue to use that size. Please remember, however, that in the near future this size may become less and less frequent. My point is to make everyone aware that web advertising format sizes are changing and it is important to stay on top of the changes before you are forced to scramble and make last minute changes.