These days, things are not going very well in online advertisement, Scott Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Technology and Ad Operations IAB, admitted. The permanent optimization of digital advertising in terms of automation and targeting is at the expense of the user. Banner ads affect the battery life, slow down the website and consequently harm the user experience.

It is therefore no wonder that ad blockers are enjoying great popularity and usage rises. Ad blockers are filter programs that block advertisement on websites. The advantages are clear: Websites have faster loading times and users are not bothered by intrusive ads. Thus, the majority of advertising banners are cut out and not visible for the users.

But ad blocking software has become a danger for providing content at no charge. Furthermore, an important source of revenue for publishers as well as for advertisers disappears. As a result the LEAN programme has been set up by IAB.

Avoid Ad Blocking with IAB LEAN

LEAN stands for Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads.

The name refers to a future in which  ads are rarer and less intrusive, transferred encrypted and give users the opportunity to decide which advertisement they want to see.

In October 2015, these principles were released by the IAB Tech Lab. They are the result of research and discussion with thought leaders who are supporting a clear path to a better user experience in advertising-supported digital media. This is crucial, since too many consumers were rejecting tricky, annoying and slow ads and sites by installing ad blockers.

The criteria will limit file size, “with strict data call guidelines,” assure user security, support DAA’s consumer privacy programs and supplement user experience. This includes covering content and sound enabled by default, the IAB said.

Why does this initiative exist?

The goal of the initiative is to decrease the ad blocker rate. The method for this is to make advertising more welcome.

Its objective is to help publishers make their website more user and ad-friendly and to ensure that there are still ad revenues but without displayed ads that are distracting the user with long loading times. The battle about ad blockers and online advertising is essential for the future of the open web since advertising enables available information at no charge.

What does the approach mean for different stakeholders?

LEAN Ads do not replace the current advertising standards. Rather, these principles will guide an alternative set of standards that provide a choice for marketers, content providers, and consumers.

“The IAB Tech Lab will continue to provide the tools for publishers in the digital supply chain to have a dialogue with users about their choices so that content providers can generate revenue while creating value. Publishers should have the opportunity to provide rich advertising experiences, LEAN advertising experiences, and subscription services. Or publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads. That is all part of elasticity of consumer tolerance and choice”, says Scott Cunningham

Where does plista stand?

With its Native RecommendationAd plista is already fulfilling all criteria of LEAN ads.


The size quoted is based on plista’s core JavaScript library. This is the part plista directly controls. It orchestrates the interaction with the page and the delivery of various products. The newly released platform has reduced the code footprint by over 80% whilst our servers now respond considerably faster.


Publishers can choose to use encryption of the widgets they implement.

Ad-Choice supported /OBA

With its Recommendation Technology plista offers online behavioural advertising solutions for publishers and advertisers. In this context plista fulfills this requirement.

Non-Invasive Ads

One of the biggest advantages of the native ad formats of plista is the non-invasive character. Designed in the look and feel of the publisher content and placed in user’s natural flow of reading Native RecommendationAds increase user engagement.

Who or what is IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau)?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau was founded in 1996 and is based in New York City. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies. These are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86% of online advertising in the United States. In collaboration with its member companies, the IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. It is also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing.

Author: Lucie Feldt