The IAB Ad Unit Guidelines are used by marketers, agencies and media companies in the creating, planning, buying and selling of interactive marketing and advertising. The standards are set by the IAB’s Ad Sizes Working Group which meets on a bi-annual basis to review proposed new ad units and issue updated voluntary guidelines as appropriate.

IAB stands for The Interactive Advertising Bureau which is comprised of more than 500 media and technology companies who are responsible for selling the majority of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. You’ll find them on the net at http://www.iab.net/.

The IAB Standards are voluntary guidelines that provide a framework for ad inventory and web page design. Their goal is to reduce and simplify the amount of work for agencies that may be faced with having to create several assets of a similar size for different publishers. 

This works well in most cases as it provides us all with a basic level commonality in advertising, though in niche markets such as the Christian Market that FrontGate Media serves, there are often custom promotions that provide much deeper value to advertisers, but which go beyond the IAB Standards. Examples would include more aggressive audience interaction through things like contests or custom advertorial.

In those cases, major agencies, particularly the secular market agencies working Christian projects, can miss out on great opportunities to create a deeper contact and interaction with Christian target audiences if they are limited to IAB Standards, though we do have plenty of IAB Standard ad options at FrontGate Media. 

NOTE: All dimensions are in pixels.

Core Standard Ad Units
As of February 28, 2011

    Recommended
Maximum
Initial
Download
Fileweight
Recommended
Animation
Length
(Seconds)
300 x 250 IMU – (Medium Rectangle) View IMU 40k :15
180 x 150 IMU – (Rectangle) View IMU 40k :15
728 x 90 IMU – (Leaderboard) View IMU 40k :15
160 x 600 IMU – (Wide Skyscraper) View IMU 40k :15
300 x 600 IMU – (Half Page Ad) View IMU 40k :15
120 x 60 IMU – (Button 2) View IMU 20k :15
88 x 31 IMU – (Micro Bar) View IMU 10k :15