The Ultimate Banner Guide for Media Buyers: Do’s & Don’ts

Erez Attali
Account Manager
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Banners are still the most popular way for advertisers to market their brand. But creating successful banners may be slightly more complicated than it seems, with many banners not even making it past the audit stage of most media-buying platforms. Below are some do’s and don’ts to make sure your web and mobile banners pass audit with flying colors and go on to engage the right audience.

#1 Use Standard Banner Sizes

Most ad sizes are 320X50, 300X250, and 320X480 (interstitials) for mobile phones and 728X90 for tablets. While many new mobile devices support a variety of ad sizes, using the most common ones will ensure your reach is as wide as possible and that your ads will appear in the biggest inventories. Additionally, your message should fit the banner’s size and be as informative as possible.


#2 Don’t Use Generic CTAs

While it’s easy to create ads with a single short message such as “Play” or “Download”, these kinds of creatives are banned by most SSPs and publishers and will most likely be rejected by a DSP’s compliance team. Try to create a call-to-action that is both short and specific.

#3 Minimize the Use of Shaky, Flashing, Flickering Animation (and Smileys)

As much as we tend to think that they will catch the user’s attention, these kinds of creatives are most often annoying and harmful to the user’s experience. If you still want to use GIFs, try to choose ones that flash or rotate no more than once or twice and make sure they end with a clear, static message. Guess which of the banners below you should use…



#4 Match Your Landing Page/Click URL with Your Creative  

Creatives that promote a specific app or service but send the user to an irrelevant page is considered deceptive, and will be rejected by both the publisher and your DSP’s compliance team. Double check that the click URL leads to a valid, non-harassing landing page which is relevant to the offer shown in the creative. Keep in mind that provocative and sexual creatives, (even something seemingly innocent as an image with a bikini-clad model) or ones which lead to adult content in general are also prohibited.


#5 Make Ad Quality a Priority

This is relevant especially for JS/3rd party tags. Pre-scan your tags in 3rd party tools prior to uploading them to a DSP. Both TMT and GeoEdge have the option to scan a tag on demand and will send you a notification in case there’s a violation. Just note that unknown and new domains may also be flagged as potentially malicious and should be white-listed in advance using the ad-quality tools.

Most SSPs, DSPs, and publishers today use one or more ad-quality tools such as GeoEdge, The Media Trust (TMT), Confiant, or in-house tools. These tools are continuously improving and can detect most kinds of malicious URLs, auto-redirect attempts, pop-ups/unders, and even crypto-mining attempts. The consequences of a media buyer violating ad-quality policy vary from receiving fines to more extreme measures such as being completely blocked from buying from a specific publisher or SSP.

As long as you follow these five tips your banner ads should be approved and ready to achieve your KPIs.

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