Global Online Media Leaders Join Forces to Improve Consumer Ad Experience

Coalition for Better Ads Will Use Research, Advocacy to Develop and Implement New Standards

COLOGNE, GERMANY (dmexco) - September 15, 2016 - Leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media are joining forces to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising. The Coalition for Better Ads will leverage consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising.

"Advertising funds the diversity of information, entertainment, and services on the free Internet, but that doesn't give business a license to abuse the good will of consumers," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), one of the Coalition members who announced the initiative at dmexco, the global conference for digital marketers. “It is essential that industry create standards to assure that consumers get safe, fast, secure delivery of the sites and services they love."

“The breadth of this Coalition emphasizes our belief that a unified, industry-wide effort will drive the change consumers want,” said Oliver von Wersch, BVDW Germany and Managing Director at the digital division of Gruner+Jahr, a leading publishing house in Europe and a subsidiary company of Bertelsmann. “This collaborative effort reflects the commitment of the online advertising community to improve the advertising experience for Internet users worldwide.”

“Advertising has been the economic driver of the explosive growth of the Internet and mobile media. To assure that advertising fulfills this critical role, the digital marketplace needs continually to be strengthened. Leading brands develop a deep understanding of consumer needs and work to meet them,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA. “The Coalition for Better Ads will utilize a similar approach that translates consumer insights into positive action.”

“Our members recognize that there is room for improvement with the current consumer online advertising experience, as indicated in part by the emergence of ad blocking,” said Nancy Hill, President and CEO, American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). “Now is the time for advertising professionals and marketers to look at ourselves to understand why consumers are not responding to these types of ads, and figure out how we can correct the issue to better engage with the consumers we’re trying to reach.”

The Coalition will focus on several initiatives in the coming months:

  • Create consumer-based, data-driven standards that companies in the online advertising industry can use to improve the consumer ad experience
  • In conjunction with the IAB Tech Lab, develop and deploy technology to implement these standards
  • Encourage awareness of the standards among consumers and businesses in order to ensure wide uptake and elicit feedback

The Coalition will draw upon consumer research in shaping the standards.

“The initiative will draw on the work its members have been doing on this issue, including the efforts of IAB Europe, IAB France, IAB UK and other European national IABs to develop a Charter on Digital Advertising Best Practice,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe. “This broad Coalition provides the opportunity for our industry to unite behind a common effort with the potential to drive change globally.”

“The Coalition for Better Ads will work across the advertising industry with a goal to improve the advertising experience for users,” said Stu Ingis, an attorney at Venable who represents the Coalition. “The advertising industry’s commitment to the development and promotion of standards will benefit consumers through supporting quality content on the Internet for years to come.”

“The relationship between marketers and consumers is based on truth, results, trust and two-way communication,” said Thomas Benton, CEO of DMA. “As the Internet evolves, our industry must also evolve, and as a leader of the industry’s consumer preferences and self-regulatory programs for over 60 years – both of which are grounded in respecting consumers’ choices, DMA is pleased to expand its commitment in helping the industry keep pace with consumers’ expectations while continuing to foster the data and marketing innovation that delivers even greater value and benefits to consumers.”

“When consumers have a negative experience with ads on a site, it impacts the entire Internet ecosystem – publishers, advertising technology companies, agencies, and advertisers,” said Leigh Freund, President and CEO, Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) “Therefore, it is essential that our industry comes together to solve this problem in a structured way that puts the experience of the consumer front and center and holds the industry accountable for that experience.”

“The foundation for any premium publisher is consumer and advertiser trust. Consumers are clearly frustrated with the current dynamic of digital advertising across the wider web. No industry has ever survived by ignoring consumer needs,” said Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next. “DCN is looking forward to working with this coalition to address the underlying consumer needs that have accelerated ad blocking adoption.”

"As news organizations that provide high-quality and trusted content across all digital and mobile platforms, we look forward to working with our partners in this Coalition to make sure that ads around our content are of high-quality and in line with our customers' preferences,” said David Chavern, President and CEO, News Media Alliance.

“Ads support free content, quality journalism and enable social connections across the Internet,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers. “But people are telling us they are fed up with how ads are being delivered on their favourite sites. We hear that message loud and clear. Today’s announcement is an important step forward in shaping a worldwide response.”

Founding members and supporters of the Coalition, in alphabetical order, include the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), BVDW Germany, Digital Content Next, DMA, European Publishers Council, Facebook, Google, GroupM, IAB, IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab, as well as additional national and regional IABs, Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), News Media Alliance, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, The Washington Post, and World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). Companies and trade associations that wish to join the Coalition can learn more at


Brendan McCormick
70 Douglass Communications

At dmexco:

Tim Sausen
BVDW Germany
+49 160 3599882