A Guide to Digital Ad Acceptance
In the real world of digital ad submission, rating ads may make for more savvy advertisers.
I must confess that when I began writing this article, I wanted to title it, "A Guide to Digital Ad Acceptance, a.k.a. What the @#$% is this!?" Here, at Easyriders' in-house prepress department, it's a phrase we often shout. And I find myself asking: Does accepting digital ads really have to be so difficult?
The real world of digital ads
For those of us who spend time in the industry at large—attending conferences, doing research and keeping up to date on the latest and greatest in ad delivery—the market realities can be rather sobering.
Presumably like other publishers, Easyriders receives all kinds of digital ad formats. Some files have been prepared with care; others feed my nightmares. But since I'm not in business to turn away poorly created ads, I've got to make them all work—somehow, some way.
The other side of Nirvana
Let's face it: the Nirvana envisioned by national publishers, agencies, and prep shops that provide TIFF/IT and PDF/X-1 files with digital proofs that actually match the file is still mostly a dream to us "small" publishers. We turn an ad away, we lose revenue. It's a simple equation. Faced with this challenge, I've devised a rating system that evaluates incoming ads, and I believe it can be a valuable tool for all publishers.
The rating system's objective is to provide some framework that helps the advertiser, the ad creator and the publisher gain perspective on the difference between digital ads that work and those that don't.
At Easyriders, we've created five categories for distinguishing digital ads: Preferred, Acceptable, Mar-ginal, Poor and Unacceptable. I define these based on liability and intervention—that is, how much work has to be done to a digital ad file to make it print ready.