1 Content requirements
Content policies apply to ad creatives, landing pages, any inventory, or other content connected to advertising transactions. Ads must be distinguishable from a publisher’s content and cannot appear to be content or links on a publisher’s site.
1.1 Prohibited content
The following content is prohibited: hate speech, defamatory language, tobacco, explosives and weapons, nudity, pornography, obscenity, references to sex or sexuality, illegal and recreational drugs, illegal pharmaceuticals or paraphernalia, illegal content or activities, violence, profanities, morally reprehensible content, dangerous or derogatory content, shocking content, sensitive events, animal cruelty, piracy, misappropriation or violation of intellectual property or copyright, trademark, trade secret, or patent, counterfeit goods, government forms or services, sales of free items, malware, spyware, phishing, spam, auto-downloads, auto-redirect, content that interferes with navigation or other ads, unusual CTR, deceptive content that intends to or induces user action through misleading appearance or behavior, fake hyperlinks, content resembling Windows, Unix or Mac dialogue boxes, fake interactivity, free gifts, links to quizzes and surveys, misleading or unproven claims, content enabling dishonest behavior, content that does not provide adequate privacy notice and information or does not obtain necessary user consent, content which attempts to reveal a user’s sensitive characteristics or attempts to exploit these, or which could be viewed to discriminate, embarrass, offend or otherwise cause a legal or significant impact on a user.
1.2 Restricted content
The following content is restricted and may serve only under specific conditions: alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals, CBD, financial content related to complex speculative products, cryptocurrency exchanges and debt services, political and election/referendum content.
2 Creative policies
The following recommendations apply to creatives of any type:
• Creative images must be clear, recognizable, relevant and must not contain illegible text
• Low-quality images are not allowed; this includes, but it is not limited to, crowded images with too many visual objects in one creative, blurry, distorted, low-resolution, pixelated, smudged or stretched images
• Images that are sideways, upside down or that don’t occupy the entire space of the chosen image size are not allowed
• All creatives with partially black, white, or transparent backgrounds must include a visible border of a contrasting color to the majority background color of the creative
• Strobing, flashing backgrounds, or otherwise distracting images are not allowed
• Ads may not play sound automatically and audio must be user-initiated on click. Users must have the option to mute all audio in the ad
• Ads may play video automatically, as long as the audio is muted
• All sound and animation (including video) must stop upon the exit click
• Auto-expansion, pop-up, pop-unders, timed or intermittent pop-ups, mock system warnings and pages that automatically initiate a survey or a download are prohibited
• Creatives might not automatically refresh or cause the entire webpage to refresh
• All creatives must open in a new tab or window and should not navigate away from the publisher’s page
• The landing page should not forcefully redirect the user to other pages or content
• It’s recommended that the language of the landing page match the language of the creative
• Each creative and landing page must have one identical and recognized brand/product offering associated with them
• Creatives should not rotate brands
• All creatives must contain sufficient brand notification and their branding must not be obfuscated (too small, too faint). At least one of the three things below must be included:
◦ a clearly identifiable logo: if the only branding is the logo, that exact logo must also be on the landing page
◦ a landing page URL: if the only branding on the creative is a landing page URL, that URL must be the URL the creative has as its landing page
◦ a distinct brand name: if the only branding on the creative is a distinct brand name, the brand name must not be an actual word and when it appears on the creative it cannot be confused for other, non-branded text
• Prior to running on any inventory, all creatives must pass an audit process to check technical and content criteria, and evaluate them against the requirements of our sellers. Impression capping, geo-targeting or similar blocking technology set outside our platform will interfere with the audit process and must be removed while the creatives are being audited
• The click-through URLs of all creatives must lead to landing pages that are crawlable by Google bots
• The duration of animated ads must be 30 seconds maximum
• The number of cookies set per creative must be 25 maximum
• The number of HTTP/HTTPS (fourth party) calls per creative must be 100 maximum
• The total ad download size of non-video creatives should not exceed 4MB
• Third-party creatives must not exceed 40% of the CPU capacity of a user’s device. Common causes of high CPU use are continued animation, heavy animation sequences, and animation that surpasses the 30-second limit
• Flash creatives and/or any Flash content, including Flash-based pixels, are not allowed
• Creatives may not use locally shared object (LSO) technologies or device fingerprints for purposes of online behavioral advertising, ad delivery, reporting, or multi-site advertising. LSOs include: Flash cookies, browser helper objects and HTML5 Local Storage. Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to: storing user IDs, interest segments, user browsing history, or other unique user data
• All creatives must be free of applications including, but not limited to, ActiveX, viruses, exit pops, spyware, and malware
• Creative coding may not use cross-domain scripting or set, read, write, modify or delete cookies in unapproved domains
• HTML5 ads must include a <!DOCTYPE html> declaration and must contain a <html>, <head> and <body> tag. Ad dimensions must match the placement dimensions to prevent distortions, and should have an ad size <meta> tag within the <head> tag. General guidance and specifications for ad designers and creative technologists can be found here
• All creatives must be SSL compliant and all calls made within the ads must be SSL-enabled. This includes all assets, trackers, ad responses and fourth-party calls to other technologies within the ad unit. All servers involved require full SSL certification. Note that the landing page is the only part of an ad that does not need to be secure
3 Standards and best practices
MiQ adheres to the LEAN program, an IAB initiative that aims to improve consumer experience and give users control of their privacy whilst reducing the use of ad-blocking technologies.
The principles of the programs are:
• L: Lightweight (ads)
• E: Encryption (HTTPS)
• A: Allowing Choice (adChoices, Transparency & Consent Framework)
• N: Non-invasive ads (Coalition for Better Ads)
MiQ supports and recommends the adoption of LEAN principles across the industry, and is certified for the IAB UK Gold Standard and the EDAA Trust Seal, which are industry-wide programs that reference LEAN.
All creatives served by MiQ are SSL-compliant and all the calls made within the ads are SSL-enabled. This includes all assets, trackers, ad responses and fourth-party calls to other technologies within the ad unit. All servers involved have full SSL certification.
As an EDAA participating company, MiQ only serves creatives that use the YourAdChoices icon. By clicking on the icon, users can access information about when and how data regarding their online interest is collected and used for online behavioural advertising (OBA) and by which companies. YourAdChoices icon also gives consumers control over the ads that use information about their interest as provides the ability to opt-out of the online behavioural ads from some or all the participating companies.
3.3 Better Ads Standards
We actively encourage acknowledgment of the Better Ads Standards developed by the Coalition for Better Ads following a comprehensive consumer research.
The following ad experiences fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability and the above standards. MiQ recommends alternative ad types or formats.
pop-up ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdown, large sticky ads
pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ad density higher than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, postitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ad, large sticky ads
long pre-roll ads that can’t be skipped, mid-roll ads, large display ads
interruptive interstitials, interruptive video interstitials, non-skippable video interruptive interstitials, video interstitials when opening an app