Digital POV: The Coalition For Better Ads


Publishers have always had to balance pleasing their audience with pleasing their advertisers. Too much advertising turns audiences away, too little means less revenue. Then there are the bad ads, the annoying and irritating, disruptive ones. To tackle this problem, GroupM is helping to form The Coalition for Better Ads - a global industry movement of publishers, agencies, technology companies and advertisers that aims to develop and implement new standards in digital advertising.

Details and Implications:

The rise of ad blockers has tipped the balance of power and consumers now have the nuclear option to block all digital advertising. This means that creating ‘good’ ads is now the responsibility of the entire industry, because ad blockers are not going to be tempted back because one site or advertiser has changed its ways. It’s all or literally nothing.

The Coalition has a strategy to deliver on three areas: defining standards for acceptable advertising, building technology to measure compliance with these standards and building consumer awareness of this change.

These standards will likely be based on the new LEAN scoring from the IAB which specifies that advertising should be: Light, Encrypted, AdChoice Supported and Non-invasive. These four principles will be built upon and quantified but can definitely be put to work right now on current activity.

Once the industry embraces these standards and implements technology based upon them, we are likely to see some significant changes:

Buying ads in ‘non-disruptive’ environments: Advertising revenues sometimes discourage publishers from maintaining the quality of their properties – adding in more and more ad units. If advertisers pay premiums for ‘non-disruptive’ environments then publishers may be seduced into improving their sites to improve their yields.

Selective ad blocking: Once a system for scoring ads has been built ad blockers could specifically block ads that don’t meet the mark. Imagine an ad blocker that only stops THOSE ads.

Publishers charge a premium for certain advertising: Sites that want to maintain their score could actually charge a significant premium for advertisers who break the rules.


While we wait for The Coalition to do its work, Mindshare will be working with its clients and partners to lead the charge towards better ads. Delivering ads that are more considerate to consumers is central to delivering good experiences on behalf of our clients.

We urge you to take a look at the LEAN standards and see how we can move adverts away from being seen as annoying to being seen as something that informs and educates.