IAB asks for industry help to develop future ad units

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau is overhauling its list of standard online advertising units and calling on industry professionals to help develop new brand-friendly ad formats.

IAB has launched a competition, open to all advertising and marketing professionals, to find the best ideas for online ad formats.

The effort, announced at the IAB's sixth annual MIXX Conference and Expo in New York, is part of the group's “Reimagining Interactive Advertising” initiative. Peter Minnium, the former Lowe Worldwide managing director who recently joined IAB as consulting director, is leading the initiative. The other goals of IAB, which also commissioned a Bain & Co. study of online brand-building, are to develop measurement standards for online ads

“With all the new developments in social media, sharing and consumer participation, there's a huge opportunity to make online ads more effective both at building brands and inciting engagement,” said task force member Edward Boches, chief creative officer at Mullen, in a statement.

Although IAB does update its existing unit guidelines annually, this is the first time it has asked industry professionals to cooperate to set standards.

Participants can submit entries online or get more information at www.iab.net/risingstars. A panel of industry experts will evaluate each entry to gauge their potential to drive brand equity. Criteria include how well it allows for brand creativity; how easily it can be adopted by publishers; and how well it exploits online technologies and user behaviors.

The deadline for submissions is November 15, with judging running through the end of the year. New ad units will be evaluated through 2011, when IAB will announce its new set of standard ad units.

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