AdMaxim Creative Guidelines
The main focus of this document is to provide detailed Ad quality guidelines in order to ensure optimal consumer experience with Ad Types supported by the AdMaxim Platform. AdMaxim has strict policies in place to ensure that all Ads Created using AdMaxim Creative Suite or submitted by Clients for campaigns adhere to the LEAN principles*. Ad design and implementation must ensure that ads are privacy friendly, non-disruptive, load quickly without impact on publisher content loading and extensible.
AdMaxim supports the Coalition for Better Ads Initial Ad Standards (https://www.betterads.org/standards/) and all Ad Units comply with the recommended guidelines. AdMaxim Creative Guidelines have been developed and updated to incorporate IAB Advertising Creative Guidelines.
The Coalition for Better Ads, founded in response to the rise of consumer frustrations with disruptive ads, researched and identified several online ad experiences that users found particularly annoying or intrusive. These undesirable ad types, often referred to as “bad ads,” were recommended to be avoided by advertisers to provide a better user experience.
The “bad ad” features or experiences as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads for both desktop and mobile:
- Pop-up Ads: Ads that appear on top of a site’s main content and block the user’s ability to view the content. They often come with a close button, but their presence is disruptive.
- Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound: Video ads that start playing sound without any user interaction.
- Prestitial Ads: Ads that appear before the content has loaded, preventing users from getting to the main content. These ads often come with a countdown timer.
- Large Sticky Ads: Ads that stick to the edge of a page, regardless of a user’s efforts to scroll. If these ads take up more than 30% of the screen, they’re considered “bad” by the Coalition’s standards.
- Pop-up Ads: Same as the desktop version, these ads pop up and cover the main content.
- Prestitial Ads: Ads that load before the content, often with a countdown, blocking users from accessing the main content.
- Ad Density Higher Than 30%: This refers to the sheer volume of ads on a mobile page. If ads take up more than 30% of the vertical height of the main content portion of the page, it’s considered a bad ad practice.
- Flashing Animated Ads: Ads that animate and flash, which can be disruptive and distracting.
- Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound: Similar to the desktop counterpart, these are video ads that play automatically with sound.
- Postitial Ads with Countdown: Ads that appear after the user follows a link, often with a countdown timer preventing dismissal.
- Full-screen Scrollover Ads: These are ads that force a user to scroll through them in full before accessing the main content.
- Large Sticky Ads: As with desktop, these ads stick to the bottom edge of a mobile page, and if they consume over 30% of the screen, they’re seen as problematic.
The Coalition for Better Ads recommends that websites and advertisers avoid using these ad formats and experiences to enhance user experience and reduce the chances of users adopting ad blockers. The list may evolve over time as user preferences and browsing behaviours change, so it’s always good to check the Coalition’s official website for the most up-to-date recommendations.
Enhanced Creative Guidelines Upholding Better Ad Standards
In our steadfast commitment to offering an unparalleled user experience and promoting responsible advertising, we’ve set forth the following essential creative guidelines. These have been crafted based on the Coalition for Better Ads’ standards, ensuring that our advertisements not only engage but also respect the user’s digital space.
1. Refrain from Disruptive Ad Formats
a. Pop-Up Ads: We advise against using ads that interrupt the primary content viewing experience. Should there be a need for pop-ups, they must feature a prominent and easy-to-find close button.
b. Prestitial Ads: We recommend that ads do not appear before the main content loads. Users should always have instant access to the primary content.
c. Flashing Animated Ads: Please steer clear of ads using flashing or blinking animations, as they might detract from user experience.
2. Uphold User Autonomy
a. Auto-playing Videos: Video ads should respect user preferences, meaning they shouldn’t auto-play with sound. Always give users the control to play the video and adjust the volume.
b. Ad Density: For mobile interfaces, ads should ideally not occupy more than 30% of the vertical height of the main content area.
c. Sticky Ads: If you’re considering sticky ads, they should be discreet, occupying no more than 30% of the screen. Ensuring easy minimization or closure is key.
3. Prioritize User Experience
a. Close Buttons: Any ad that allows dismissal should feature an easily recognizable and accessible close button.
b. Loading Time: It’s imperative that ads are optimized for swift loading. Lengthy page load times attributed to ads can diminish user experience.
c. Responsive Design: Crafting ads that are adaptive to all device types and screen sizes is crucial. They must be both visually pleasing and functional across various devices.
4. Champion Transparency and Trust
a. Branding: Every ad should transparently represent its associated brand. Misleading tactics are discouraged.
b. Landing Pages: Clicking on an ad should lead users to relevant landing pages, consistently reflecting the promise or call to action presented in the ad.
c. Data Integrity: In instances of user data collection, it’s essential to communicate its usage and storage transparently. We strictly respect and adhere to data protection norms.
5. Continuous Evaluation
We’re committed to regular reviews and staying updated with industry best practices and user preferences. We actively seek feedback, and our ad strategies will evolve accordingly to consistently uphold the Better Ad Standards.
Through these guidelines, we aspire to strike the perfect balance, ensuring that our audience enjoys a seamless and respectful online experience while interacting with our ads.
Creating Designs That Work
Ad Types and animations that distract the user in order to gain attention via repetitive, flashing or blinking images/text are prohibited. Any type of content or functionality that has the potential to significantly distract users from editorial content is not acceptable. Recommended design guidance for Ad units is summarised below:
Start Off With the Right Interaction
Avoid starting with a tap because users may think it will open a new page. The highest first interaction rates begin with a swipe.
Easy to Read Text
When using text with background imagery, if there are a lot of colors or elements, use subtle glows or shadowing around the text with a similar color as the background and the text will be more prominent.
Intrigue Your User Into Wanting More
If you are showing products, offer only a few variations. Give the user a small sample of the best of what you are offering but save the in-depth details and products lists for your website.
Extra Buttons Detract From Your Goals
Avoid overloading the user with options especially if the target goal is to get them to a particular URL. Don’t add additional click outs for social media if it’s not your main goal.
Label All Active Areas
If a certain area of an ad opens a page to new URL, that area should be appropriately labeled. It is easy to trick a user into opening new URLs which would count as a view on that page but we think that compromises the integrity of your brand and it won’t provide the type of result or brand awareness you’re likely interested in.
Keep Titles and Actions at the Top of the Page
The combination of mobile device sizes, browser chrome dimensions, and zoom levels may very well be infinite but, they all start at the top. To ensure that your most important messaging and calls-to-action get action make sure everyone sees them at the top of your page.
One Design to Rule Them All
It is possible to create one design that will work well across the majority of mobile devices and publishers. The key to designing for multiple screens is to pay attention to the constituent elements of the Ad as well as the aspect ratio and responsive elements. Design should be flexible and start with the highest resolution required for the unit and adjust to the screen size seamlessly respecting the aspect ratio.
The most requested and viewed size is for portrait orientation. While 320 x 480 px is the most requested size, since phones handle much higher resolution, the most appropriate dimensions to design for that size is 768 x 1152 px. If you have followed the earlier suggestions and kept titles/actions on near the top of the design, we can use that same design for the second most requested size 768 x 1024 px. Having only one design also offers the shortest development and quality assurance times as well as the easiest opportunity to make additional updates later down the line.
Mobile Ad Types To Avoid
We encourage an ad to be part of the content. When it is necessary to use a pop-up we avoid forcing the user to sit through a countdown timer before being able to close
Prestitial Ads with Countdown
Prestitials appear before the site content is shown sometimes preventing the user from seeing content until the ad is interacted with and may deter users from getting to the content at all.
Ad Density Over 30% of the Page Size
When an ad is larger than 30% of the page size users will often find the ad intrusive or distracting in comparison the general content of the page.
Flashing Animated Ads
An ad that changes backgrounds quickly or flash are considered aggravating for consumers and distract from page content.
Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound
Videos that auto-play with sound are disruptive and compel users to close them quickly or close the page entirely.
Postitial Ads with Countdown
Potentials display an ad after a user follows a link to see more content. They generally break the flow of information gathering by the user and should be able to be closed without forcing a countdown.
Full-screen Scrollover Ads
These ad types are full-page ads that scroll. They should be avoided because they obscure content and can be disorientating to consumers.
Large Sticky Ads
Ads which again take up more than 30% of the user’s device screen and stay stuck to the top or bottom of the screen. These lead to a negative user experience since they disrupt the page’s main content.
Standard AdMaxim Creative Specifications have been superseded by the Ad Specification in the IAB New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio Recommendations. Please refer to the specification section for relevant information.
Creative Request GuidelinesCreative Request Guidelines
Filtering Non-Compliant Ad Units
Maintaining an exceptional user experience is paramount for our platform. This document elucidates the rigorous methods we employ to ensure all ad units adhere to the Coalition for Better Ads’ standards.