New Ad Formats set to Launch now – Are you Ready? What L.E.A.N ads mean and how implementation might impact you.

Why New Ad Formats?

The rise of ad blockers meant that the supply chain had a glaring problem. And it did. Consumers were blocking ads for a variety of reasons, all of which threatened the long-term health of publishers (and journalism) worldwide. Although the rate of ad blocking for Canadians remains relatively low (18% and steady year over year), IAB Canada and its members need to contribute to global efforts while protecting our $6.2 billion-dollar industry in Canada. To address the core issues driving the increase in ad blocking, IAB globally took responsibility for the development of a new ad framework called L.E.A.N ads (Lean, Encrypted, Ad Choices Supported and Non-invasive/Non-disruptive).

What does LEAN mean?

L: Light. Limited file size with strict data call guidelines.
E: Encrypted. Assure user privacy with ads delivered over HTTPS. Protect server-to-server communication.
A: Ad Choices Support. All ads should support PIPEDA compliant opt-out standards.
N: Non-invasive/Non-disruptive. Ads that supplement the user experience and don’t disrupt it. This includes covering content and sound enabled by default.

L.E.A.N works with the Coalition for Better Ads in defining overarching standards that are deemed acceptable to consumers. The L.E.A.N framework serves as the cornerstone of the new IAB Ad Portfolio released in the fall of 2017. Consumers are voting with their responses and L.E.A.N ads are bringing advertisers in line with their evolving expectations. L.E.A.N enforces best practices in privacy by supporting ad choices and eventually more evolved global policy as it becomes necessary.

With your industry involvement, IAB Ad Unit Guidelines were revised to deliver optimized and flexible device experiences, as well as new content experiences (AR, Social).

What’s the Roll-Out Plan?

Now that these changes are in place, we anticipate that the large-scale platforms will act first (similar to what we saw with the phase out of Flash), understanding that these ad portfolio changes take time to implement. That said, we target Q3 2018 for mass adoption, as publishers of all sizes work tirelessly to make the necessary changes needed to re-build a smooth, and enjoyable, user experience.

IAB’s Council and Committees are working on establishing a roll out communications plan. More to come.

For more information, visit us at IAB Canada or contact us directly