PageFair endorses the initial standard of the Coalition for Better Ads

Dr Johnny Ryan Adblocking Leave a Comment

PageFair has endorsed the Coalition for Better Ads’ initial standard for better advertising. PageFair CEO, Sean Blanchfield, said:

PageFair will align itself with your initial standard henceforth. I commit that PageFair shall serve only the most tolerable formats, per the Coalition rankings.
It is my hope that we will together improve the quality of advertising on the web, and thereby sustain the medium and the publishers that give it substance.

Click here to read his letter 

What ad formats are not permitted under the Coalition’s initial standard

The Coalition’s research determined that the following formats are below its standard of acceptability and increase the likelihood that a user will install adblock.[1]

Desktop

  • Pop-up Ad (with or without countdown)
  • Auto-playing Video Ad with Sound
  • Prestitial Ad with Countdown
  • Large Sticky Ad at the Bottom

Mobile

  • Pop-up Ad (with or without countdown)
  • Prestitial Ad (with or without Countdown)
  • Postitial Ad (with countdown)
  • Ad Density Higher Than 30% (30% single column; 35% multicolumn; and 50% multicolumn) Flashing Animated Ad
  • Auto-playing Video Ad with Sound Large Sticky Ad
  • Full Screen Scrollover Ad

 

Research  

The Coalition’s findings on which advertising formats prompt users to adopt adblocking echoes PageFair’s own work to understand adblock users’ tolerances for ad formats over several years.

The scale of the Coalition’s research is to be commended. However, while video formats were examined, the research did not investigate attitudes toward YouTube’s own pre-roll video format. This should be explored in supplemental studies.[2]

Work remains: ad experience is not the only reason people are installing adblock.

Only 25% of the experiences tested fell afoul of the standard, and these are thought to represent only 5% of page views.[3] This seems optimistic.[4] Advertising experience, upon which the Coalition has focussed its research, is not the only reason why people install adblock. Other reasons, such as security and privacy, are important too, though they may be beyond the Coalition’s present scope. As the Coalition notes, adblock rates are increasing.[5]

We will continue our mission to solve the root causes of adblocking. Although bad mobile and desktop experiences drive adblock adoption, so does bad video ad experience, ad security, privacy infringement, bandwidth cost and page speed. We all have more work to do to create a sustainable foundation from which we can continue to build our businesses, and ensure a healthy future for digital media the open web.

Notes

[1] Determining a Better Ads Standard Based on User Experience Data, Coalition for Better Ads (URL: https://www.betterads.org/research/standardpaper/), pp 12-13.

[2] ibid., p. 23

[3] ibid., p 25.

[4] It is reasonable to believe that the take up of adblock tools by 18% of the online US population is due to more than 5% of their online experiences being negative.

[5] ibid., p. 2.