The Acceptable Ads Standard
Every ad has to comply with the Acceptable Ads Standard, and participants cannot pay to avoid the standard. eyeo acts on behalf of the Acceptable Ads Committee to enable publishers, ad networks, and ad-tech providers to participate in Acceptable Ads, and to enforce compliance with the standard.
For transparency, all Acceptable Ads are added to a public forum to allow the Internet community the opportunity to submit feedback.
Users’ perspectives are important to us. If, for valid reasons, any Acceptable Ads proposal is rejected, the ad(s) will be excluded and thus not shown to ad-blocking users.
Large entities pay a fee for eyeo’s services, which means participation in Acceptable Ads remains free for approximately 90% of participants.
Ads should not disrupt the natural reading flow. They should be placed above, beside or below the Primary Content1.
1 The 'Primary Content' is defined as (based on the WHATWG Specification's description of the
<main> HTML element): The Primary Content consists of content that is directly related to, or expands upon the central topic of a document or the central functionality of an application. This content should be unique to the document, excluding any content that is repeated across a set of documents such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms (unless, of course, the document's main function is a search form).
Ads should always be recognizable as ads and distinguishable from other content. Ads should clearly be marked with the word “advertisement” or its equivalent.
There are strict sizes for individual ads, as well as the total space occupied by ads. All ads that are visible in the browser window when the page first loads must not collectively occupy more than 15% of the visible portion of the web page. If placed lower on the page, ads must not collectively occupy more than 25% of the visible portion of the webpage.
Ads must also comply with size limitations, according to the ad position:
- 200px high when above the Primary Content
- 350px wide when on the side of the Primary Content
- 400px high when placed below the Primary Content
All ads that are placed above the fold (the portion of the webpage visible in the browser window when the page first loads under the common screen size) must not occupy in total more than 15 percent of the visible portion of the web page. If placed below the fold, ads must not occupy in total more than 25 percent of the visible portion of the webpage.
01 Text ads
Text ads designed with excessive use of colors and/or other elements to grab attention are not permitted.
02 Image ads
Static image ads may qualify as acceptable, according to an evaluation of their unobtrusiveness based on their integration on the webpage.
03 In-feed ads
For ads in lists and feeds, the general criteria differ depending on:
Ads are permitted in between entries and feeds.
In-feed ads are permitted to take up more space, as long as they are not substantially larger than other elements in the list or feed.
04 Search ads
For search ads—ads displayed following a user-initiated search query—the criteria differ depending on:
Search ads are permitted to be larger and take up additional screen space.
05 Ads on pages with no Primary Content
Only text ads are allowed. For webpages without any Primary Content (e.g. error or parking pages), the criteria differ depending on:
No placement limitations.
No size limitations.
06 Mobile ads
- Static ad types (e.g. 6x1 banner1 and 1x1 tile ad1) are allowed to be placed anywhere on the mobile page.
- Small ads (6x1 banner or smaller) are allowed to be placed as a sticky ad on the bottom of the screen. Other formats are not allowed to stick.
- Large ad types (e.g. native tile ads) are only allowed to be placed under the Primary Content.23
Ads showing on mobile screens are bound to the following size restrictions:
- Ads implemented on a webpage must not occupy in total more than 50 percent of the visible portion of the webpage.4
- Ads implemented as a ‘sticky ad’ have a maximum height restriction of 75px (or 15%).
- Below the Primary Content, ads are limited to 100% of the screen space.5
Animations are allowed for the 6x1 ad type when placed as a ‘sticky’ ad on the bottom of the screen. Animations have to comply with the LEAN standard for animations, and a close button or some other closing mechanism must be included.6
07 Other Acceptable Ad formats?
Are your ads displayed on alternative screens, or are you convinced that you have an innovative Acceptable Ads format that doesn't fit the ads outlined above? Let us know!
- As defined in the IAB New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio (2017).pdf, p.9-11
- Large ad: any ad >300px height
- The 'Primary Content' is defined as (based on the WHATWG Specification's description of the
<main>HTML element): The Primary Content consists of content that is directly related to, or expands upon the central topic of a document or the central functionality of an application. This content should be unique to the document, excluding any content that is repeated across a set of documents such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms (unless, of course, the document's main function is a search form).
- The visible portion of the webpage is defined as a standard CSS pixel size of 360x512px (Samsung Galaxy S7 with the SBrowser), which is based on the standard viewport of 360x640px, but with the OS- and browser UI elements deducted.
- This means that users can scroll past the primary content and an ad unit served after it can take up the whole screen; but following this ad unit, additional ads cannot be implemented.
- From: IAB New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio (2017).pdf
What is NOT considered an Acceptable Ad?
- The following types of ads are currently unacceptable and cannot be considered for inclusion on the whitelist1:
- Ads that visibly load new ads if the Primary Content does not change
- Ads with excessive or non-user-initiated hover effects
- Animated ads2
- Autoplay-sound or video ads
- Expanding ads
- Generally oversized image ads
- Interstitial page ads
- Overlay ads
- Overlay in-video ads
- Pre-roll video ads
- Rich media ads (e.g. Flash ads, Shockwave ads, etc.)
- Except when the user intentionally interacts with the ad (e.g. clicks on the ad to see a video ad playing).
- With one exception, please see 06 Mobile Ads.