Get up to speed on the new HTML5 Creative Guidelines

Posted by Jonas Jaanimagi On July 26, 2018

We’re delighted to have now updated the HTML5 Creative Guidelines for the Australian digital advertising market.

The initial version of these guidelines was first released in October 2016, so this update is certainly due and many thanks to all the contributors. In particular – James Fisher from Nine, Trent Durfee from Sizmek and Piotr Leszczyński from Google. We will commit to keeping these guidelines up-to-date by reviewing them every 6-9 months moving forwards, particularly with regards to the recommendations for ad verification and viewability scripts.

Constructive collaboration between various representative businesses was critical in order for us to get this update agreed and published. We’re extremely proud of how the issues bubbled up to us and how the key players required and most affected got together in a room and worked out what was required. At times the industry cannot agree easily on a way forward and sensible compromises between our industry members simply have to be made. Adherence to the IAB’s LEAN principles are a core philosophical approach in any of the best practices and/or guidelines that our councils commit to and therefore restrictions must be agreed upon in terms of file size specifications so as to ensure a positive consumer experience.

Download the documentation and view the Shared Libraries here.

This set of guidelines are owned by the Standards & Guidelines Council, the members of whom are all experienced Ad Operations and Product experts. Any guidelines that are not kept up to scratch can have an enormous negative impact on our entire eco-system in terms of operational inefficiencies. For the past few months a large number of Australian Publishers have been refusing some creatives sent over by buyers based upon the October 2016 and the resulting impact on these Publishers, media agencies, creative agencies and rich media vendors (in particular) has been significant. Hence getting together and resolving this as quickly as we could was so important.

The major local Verification vendors have also been included in the process and their feedback and inputs included into these guidelines. All too often these vendors can be held responsible for any related issues, where in reality it’s the overall education, better guidance and support that is required for all involved. On that point it’s worth mentioning that the IAB in the US were hosting a validator tool, which has now been removed (since June 2018). This was hugely unhelpful as it was deemed fairly unusable for the US market and was certainly not fit for use for the related Australian standards.

We can only learn from this experience and commit to building our own local HTML5 validator tool, which is a project in-play with the local Australian IAB Standards & Guidelines Council. Additionally, we must commit to keeping guidelines such as these up-to-date on a regular basis, so that we can be proactive in our updates rather than reactive once they have become outdated. Please feel free to feedback to us at if anything is missing, unclear or incorrect – and thanks once again to everyone that contributed so constrictively into the process.

Jonas Jaanimagi