IAB Releases HTML5 Ad Validator, Aimed at Creatives and Ad Operations Teams

Comes Nearly a Year After IAB Adopts HTML5 as Standard

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau planned to release a new tool Monday that allows ad designers, developers and ad operations teams to verify that their HTML5 ad units meet the current bureau's guidelines.

The tool, which works for mobile and desktop, analyzes elements such as file weights, requests and shared libraries. The IAB was set to announce it at its Mobile Marketplace conference in New York.

"The IAB Tech Lab's HTML5 Ad Validator is a utility for suppliers and publishers to verify that assets are matching the spec and their requirements," said Scott Cunningham, general manager of the IAB Tech Lab. "This will be critical in delivering better end-user experience and preventing problems, such as too many Javascript tags and poor build, before ad creative makes it to consumers' screens."

While Javascript tags can provide valuable insights to marketers, they can also hurt the consumer experience by increasing page load times. Mr. Cunningham said the IAB's HTML5 Ad Validator will play a role in the organization's L.E.A.N. initiative, an anti-ad blocking effort to make more online advertising "Light," "Encrypted," "Ad Choice Supported" and "Non-Invasive." That means limiting file size, with strict data call guidelines and assuring user security, among other things.

"The tool will be enhanced as we transition to include a leaner portfolio this year and beyond," he added.

The new utility is designed to take multiple inputs -- like zipped ad packages or Javascript ad tags -- and make recommendations.

The IAB's move comes nearly a year after it declared HTML5 the new industry standard. "The idea behind the revised guidelines is that the de facto standard – Flash – is not interoperable across devices," Mr. Cunningham said previously. "It was time to update the protocols to reflect the changing nature of technology and its influence on the supply chain."