A new coalition group announced on Thursday at the digital advertising trade show Dmexco in Cologne, Germany with the goal of eliminating bad web ads. Called “The Coalition for Better Ads,” the group is made up of publishers, advertisers, and advertising trade associations including notable tech companies like Facebook and Google.
“Advertising has been the economic driver of the explosive growth of the Internet and mobile media,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA, one of the Coalition members, in a statement. “To assure that advertising fulfills this critical role, the digital marketplace needs continually to be strengthened. Leading brands develop a deep understanding of consumer needs and work to meet them. The Coalition for Better Ads will utilize a similar approach that translates consumer insights into positive action.”
The first act by the coalition was to create a uniform standard to assess online advertising, which will be implemented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Tech Lab. IAB technology scores ads on several variables (e.g. page load time, number of tracking pixels) to determine which ads are okay and which are not. The group says criterions will be based on the kind of ads consumers like and dislike.
“Advertising funds the diversity of information, entertainment, and services on the free Internet, but that doesn’t give business a license to abuse the goodwill of consumers,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB, in a statement. “It is essential that industry create standards to assure that consumers get safe, fast, secure delivery of the sites and services they love.”
The Coalition was formed by the increasing prevalence of ad blocking. According to research commissioned by the IAB, over a quarter of internet users in the U.S. use an online ad-blocking software on their desktop computers.
The complete list of founding members include American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), ANA, BVDW Germany, Digital Content Next, DMA, European Publishers Council, Facebook, Google, GroupM, IAB, IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab, as well as additional national and regional IABs, Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), News Media Alliance, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, The Washington Post, and World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).
The announcement of the coalition comes after Eyeo GmbH—the parent company of popular adblocking software Adblock Plus—revealed that it would be expanding its efforts in selling ads. The company, which previously allowed certain non disruptive ads to remain, launched an automated ad marketplace to let publishers include “acceptable” ads on their site.
The IAB has spoken out against Eyeo GmbH’s new marketplace.
“No matter how Adblock Plus tries to justify their form of extortion, or make it seem harmless, it is a practice that will continue to erode the value exchange that powers the free and open Internet,” said IAB public policy chief Dave Grimaldi in a statement.