The types of ads the coalition has identified as falling below standard include pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, flashing animated ads and full-screen ads that mask underlying content from readers or viewers.
The explosion of ad-blocking tools has launched a prolonged debate within the advertising industry over whether to rein in abusive ad practices, or simply freeze out consumers who use an ad-blocker and still expect access to premium content.
The Coalition for Better Ads said yesterday it was publishing the voluntary standards after a study in which more than 25000 web surfers and mobile-phone users rated ads. They identified six types of desktop web ads and 12 types of mobile ads as falling beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.
The coalition is made up of advertising associations from Britain, France, Germany and the US, Google and Facebook, advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever and news publishers including News Corp, Washington Post and Thomson Reuters, the corporate parent of Reuters News.