March brings big news for ad quality

In case you missed it: Google AMP conference on ads, and Acceptable Ads Committee Announced

Here at Ad Reform, we do our best immerse ourselves in all things ad quality. The past 2 weeks has given us a lot to chew on. Since most of you are super busy and have tuned out of social media (oh politics…), we’ve put together a quick recap of the events and corresponding links for your convenience. Enjoy!

AMP Conference discusses ads

AMP has been a hotly discussed topic ever since Google announced it last year. Last week AMP held it’s annual 2-day conference to discuss the future of AMP and it’s new features/partnerships. One of the most interesting presentations was on ads. Check it all out here →

AMP continues to be a controversial topic. Many Performance/UX experts say it threatens the open/decentralized web. If your piece of content has Google in the domain, is it really your content anymore? Here’s an excellent post from Tim Kadlec, an accomplished author/speaker on web design and performance. This was debated in a fantastic panel at the conference as well:

AdBlock Plus announces Acceptable Ads Committee

The Acceptable Ads program are standards that ads must meet in order to be served to users of ad blocking companies like AdBlock Plus, AdBlock, and Crystal. While focusing on improving ad quality is noble, the IAB has fought against AdBlock Plus’ business model, whom will allow acceptable ads to be served to it’s users for $$$, calling it “extortion.” Wednesday, Eyeo (AdBlock Plus parent company) announced the first committee members. Here’s the list (source: Business Insider):

Advertisers: Dell (seat held by Breanna Fowler, strategic partnerships and advertising)
Ad tech: Rocket Fuel Inc. (seat held by Ari Levenfeld, senior director of privacy and inventory quality); Rakuten Marketing; Native Ads, Inc.; Sharethrough; The Media Trust; Inc.; Criteo; Look Listen; ZEDO; Bidio, Inc.; Instinctive, Inc.; Adtoma AB
Advertising agencies: M&C Saatchi Mobile (seat held by Gabriel Cheng, VP of strategic growth and partnerships); The Tombras Group; Saatchi & Saatchi; TLGG; Schaaf-PartnerCentric
Publishers and content creators: Condé Nast (seat held by Kenton Jacobsen, strategic director of engineering for and; Dennis Publishing; Local Media Consortium; TED Talks; Leaf Group
Experts: Seat held by Jay Morgan of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide; and by Bloor Research International Ltd. senior analyst Fran Howarth.
User agent: Seat held by Kenny Ye, director of international business development at the Alibaba Mobile Group, maker of UC Browser.
Digital Rights Organizations: Seat held by Fight for the Future cofounder Holmes Wilson.
User: Recruiting starts March 15.

It has still yet to be know what exactly is deemed an acceptable ad, and how that might differ from the IAB’s LEAN initiative. One thing’s for sure: the ad tech industry is taking steps (or at least offering a lot of good PR) to improve ad quality and the overall user experience, even if they all seem to be somewhat shrouded in controversy. Stay tuned!

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