Unicast Chairman Calls for a Limited Number of Standard Rich Media Ad Units

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Unicast chairman/CEO Richard Hopple is calling on the online advertising industry to settle on a limited number of standardized rich media formats, which he said will let traditional advertisers make better decisions about how and where to spend their ad dollars online.

Noting that there is too much clutter and that the thousands of formats currently available "are likely to paralyze" traditional advertisers' online efforts, Hopple said the industry should push the four or five formats that command the most ad spending - the ads that are the most television-like, including not surprisingly Unicast's own Superstitial format.

"There's a reason advertisers pay $2.50 per thousand for outdoor and much higher multiples for television," Hopple said in a statement released yesterday. "Advertisers can communicate much more effectively using a television format than they can with a billboard format. It's much more valuable."

He suggests the industry cull the list of available rich media formats down to four or five, rather the nearly 5,000 he claims are available now. This, he said, would make advertising more standardized and manageable, giving advertisers a "simple way to think about" the industry.

"The industry doesn't need more units," Hopple said. "It needs more simplicity."

He suggests that the rush to develop new rich media ad units is likely make traditional advertisers think twice about online advertising. The industry should settle on the four or five ad units that have proven to command the largest share of advertising dollars.

"Am I suggesting that all online advertising be Superstitial ads?" he said. "No. What I am advocating first and foremost is that the industry lead with its strengths, the format that is most like the format on which advertisers dedicate the lion's share of their budgets."

According to Jupiter Media Metrix's AdRelevance service, Unicast Superstitials garnered more than 55 million impressions across all industries during the week ending March 15. That same week, all Flash-based rich media ads -- including Superstitials -- garnered 370.3 million impressions across all industries.

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