Coalition for Better Ads Announces Better Ads Standard for Short-Form Video to Improve Consumer Experience Online

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2020 – The Coalition for Better Ads announced today that it has developed a Better Ads Standard for short-form video for desktop, mobile web and in-app environments to expand its efforts improve the online ad experience for consumers. The Standard will apply to ad experiences that appear in short-from video content that is defined as 8 minutes or less in these online environments.

Three ad experiences fall beneath the Better Ads Standard for short-form video:

  • mid-roll ads;
  • pre-roll ads or pods longer than 31 seconds that cannot be skipped in the first 6 seconds; and
  • non-linear display ads that are in the middle 1/3 of a playing video or are larger than 20% of the video content.

The ad experiences identified in the Standard are based on the Coalition’s extensive research related to short-form video, which involved nearly 45,000 consumers in 8 countries representing 60% of global online advertising spending. The research found strong alignment of consumer preferences across countries and regions for the most- and least-preferred online ad experiences, supporting the adoption of a single Better Ads Standard for these environments globally. The Coalition’s Better Ads Standards identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability and are most likely to drive consumers to install ad blockers. More than 100,000 consumers have participated to date in the Coalition’s research to develop its set of Better Ads Standards.

“The Coalition for Better Ads is pleased to add this new Standard to our tools to help the online ad industry improve the experience for consumers,” said Neal Thurman, director of the Coalition for Better Ads. “Broadening the environments covered by our Better Ads Standards will benefit consumers and provide additional guidance for businesses to respond to consumer preferences.”

“Although the growth of ad blocking has slowed down in recent years, the industry still has a long way to go to ensure that the ads they serve are relevant and enhance consumers’ online experience. The new Standard for video ads is a positive step forward, following the Better Ads Standards and the work the Coalition and its members are doing globally and locally,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

“Video content is a fast-growing sector and advertising is fundamental to funding it.  Advertisers, agencies, ad tech companies, and publishers should ensure that video advertising addresses consumer expectations, and to that end they are encouraged to quickly adopt this new Standard,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe.

“GroupM has incorporated the Better Ads Standards into our Inventory Quality evaluation process, enabling our clients around the world to advertise more effectively in brand-safe environments,” said Joe Barone, Managing Partner, Brand Safety Americas, GroupM.  “Because they reflect consumer preferences, the Better Ads Standards are an essential tool for brands and publishers who aim to build trust and deepen relationships with their audiences.”  

“Adherence to the Better Ads Standards is an essential requirement for companies to meet IAB UK’s Gold Standard,” said Jon Mew, CEO of IAB UK. “The new Standard for short-form video will broaden the commitment of participating companies to improve the digital advertising experience for people watching video content.”

“Video content and advertising is an important growth driver for the German market and has long been on the agenda of the Digital Marketing Quality (DMQ) focus group at the BVDW - for example in the rollout of VAST4. The aim of DMQ is to create trust and awareness on the part of users and advertisers through transparency and standards. The Digital Trust Initiative will bundle all relevant certifications and programs for this purpose. The Better Ads Standards will also be part of this program,” said Serge Heitmann, Media Impact – Axel Springer / Head of Lab "Better Ads," BVDW.

The Coalition’s Better Ads Standard for short-form video complements previous Standards for desktop and mobile web advertising that have been widely adopted by industry participants globally to improve the consumer experience with online advertising. Ad blocker rates in North America and Europe have declined modestly from their peak in mid-2017 as the Coalition’s efforts have taken hold and other factors have contributed to this improvement. Install rates for ad blocker plug-ins in Chrome have declined more significantly since fall of 2016.

The Coalition and its members will continue to engage with trade associations and companies worldwide to educate the industry about the Better Ads Standards and encourage their widespread adoption, including through webinars and other outreach in the coming months. The Coalition plans additional consumer research of different ad experiences and environments, including launching new research on in-app environments this year.

The Coalition’s Better Ads Experience Program certifies web publishers that agree not to use the most disruptive ads identified in its Better Ads Standards. The Program’s online register of certified companies helps advertising partners identify publishers who apply the Standards. Certified companies will not have ads on their sites filtered based on the Standards by browsers that participate in the Program. The Coalition welcomes participation from additional publishers who meet the Program’s requirements. The Program includes an independent dispute resolution mechanism developed by the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council in consultation with the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation. The Program, through its implementation entities, will assess compliance with the Better Ads Standard for short-form video no earlier than June 5, 2020.

The Standard for short-form video does not apply to other environments like feeds or OTT. More information is available at

About the Coalition for Better Ads

Leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media formed the Coalition for Better Ads to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising. The Coalition has conducted extensive consumer research to develop Better Ads Standards to help the online ad industry address consumer preferences. The Coalition’s members include leading global advertisers, advertising agencies, publishers, and technology companies. An additional 80 trade associations from around the world are affiliates of the Coalition for Better Ads. Companies and trade associations that wish to join the Coalition can learn more at