The Coalition for Better Ads can help do that, says Erard Gilles, WFA Public Affairs Manager
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On February 15, the online advertising ecosystem took two steps in the direction of a better internet.
First, the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) opened enrollment to the Better Ads Experience Program, a voluntary initiative designed to improve the online ad experience for consumers. Publishers can now certify their compliance with the Coalition’s ad standards and the fact that they have stopped using the most annoying formats, as identified by the CBA. This means that they commit not to show users of their websites ads using these bad formats.
Second, Google rolled out its plans to filter ads based on the Coalition’s standards. Ad formats identified by the CBA have been automatically removed by the Chrome browser.
In the 20 or so years since digital advertising first appeared, the digital environment has become increasingly cluttered. Intrusive and disruptive ad formats have become the norm online. Little wonder that 11% of consumers globally have installed ad blockers.
Today, some of the worst effects are felt by users of streaming websites that are typically populated by a large numbers of pop ups.
The ability to automatically remove this negative part of the digital experience should make the internet a better place to visit and give brands a cleaner and less cluttered environment in which to connect with their customers.
Clearly, it’s going to be a long journey. The Coalition on its own won’t reverse the tide of ad blocking and more industry partners need to embrace the standards for them to be effective.
Of course, we also need safeguards to make sure the standards are developed and implemented in an open and effective way. That is why WFA, a co-founder of the Coalition, is pushing for a robust adjudication system and fair and transparent governance for the CBA.
This is the start of a journey in which advertisers, platforms and publishers will each play their part in ensuring that consumers can enjoy a better online experience.
We should remind ourselves that the Coalition for Better Ads was only formed just 18 months ago. We now have a program of research, standards and major industry players taking active steps to remove bad ads. There remains much to do but we’ve come a long way in a short time.