Specifications for Guardian Commercial online ad formats. This includes all standard and expandable ad formats and all new ad formats along with delivery information and contact details. Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our Ad Operations team at:
This Publication carries on-line advertising only. For information on our print sections please see our other pages on Specle.
Please take some time to read the following guidelines for different creative applications for use on the Guardian network. We are constantly working with agencies and clients and will keep you informed of developments and extensions to these guidelines.
If you provide 3rd party creative tags, we cannot accept them if the initial load of the creative is more than 200kbThe Guardian is now a secure site. Please ensure all tags supplied are secure
We can accept the following formats:
3rd party tags
Guardian hosted HTML5:To ensure your rich media ads are fully functional in all popular browsers, we recommend creatives are built in HTML5 and not Flash
Further info can be found here :
- Google Web Designer – to build creatives in HTML5 – https://www.google.com/webdesigner/
- Swiffy – to convert existing Flash creatives into HTML5 – https://developers.google.com/swiffy/
- HTML basics – http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
- CSS basics – http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp
- Web Fundamentals – https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/
- Rich Media HTML5 resources – http://www.richmediagallery.com/resources/html5
- Drawing on canvas – http://www.w3schools.com/html/html5_canvas.asp
Please also provide a backup GIF
If you have any further queries about HTML5 please contact
Third Party Hosted: We accept only iFRAME tags and internal redirects. Please include detailed implementation instructions.
Video Specs: (creative level)
- Max 30 seconds
- VAST XML base format
- additional VPAID elements can be accepted, but given it’s variability, testing must happen prior to going live.
Please see our gallery for examples of future formats and rising stars
The Guardian along with many other publishers has committed to comply with the IAB’s Self-Regulatory Framework in relation to OBA Advertising.
In order to comply we will require all 3rd party hosted adverts to include the Adchoices Ad Marker as per the IAB’s technical guidelines
Notes on expandable creative
We serve ads through an iFrame so require you to provide code to allow the ad to expand.
We fully support expandable creative from the following third parties (other third party ad code will require technical time): Mediamind, Doubleclick, Flashtalking, Atlas, RM, Mediaplex.
All expandable creative requires editorial approval
Creative must contract on roll-off
Width 1600 Length 1200
• No Click To remove
• No Animation of Skins allowed
• Agency need to supply a GIF or JPG – 1600×1200 creative – middle (980 pixels) must be blank
• Maximum file size is 150kb
• Skins will only show on Screens bigger than 1300 pixels wide
• Any white on white creative must have a 1px black border (as per normal guidelines)
Please keep all messaging inside the dark grey area as per the diagram, so as to ensure it is viewable on all screen sizes
If your skin is showing with a 900×250/970×250 please build the skin as per the diagram below:
If your skin is showing with a 728×90 please build the skin as per the diagram below:
• MPU 300×250 (mobile and tablet)
• Format: gif or jpeg
• max file size 40kb
• Superheader 900×250 (tablet only)
• Format: gif or jpeg
• max file size 40kb
White Creative: All white and light-coloured creative must have a dark one-pixel border.
Click into new window: All ads must click into a new browser window.
Browser compliance: We target all rich media ads to all versions of Chrome, IE and Firefox unless otherwise instructed. We target gif ads to all browsers unless otherwise instructed.
Testing: All solutions are subject to final senior editorial approval (rich media campaigns are subject to testing).
Technical Contact: For all rich media campaigns we need the name of a technical contact at your end.
Lead Time: Please allow 2 days lead time for gifs and 5 days for all other creative.
Sound: All sound must be user click activated.
Misleading Ads: We will not carry any form of advertising that is deemed to be misleading or confusing to our users.
More information: For information on ad types not covered here please contact us directly via the navigation bar on the left of this page.
CPU: We may measure CPU, and reject or remove ads that drive the CPU too high (i.e. negatively affect the speed of the page load or certain page functionality) Please See ‘Flash and Rich Media Instructions’ section on this page for further information on supplying Flash Creatives.
Guidelines on Photosensitive effects
(affecting people with complaints such as epilepsy and migraine)
General flashing threshold
A sequence of flashes or rapidly changing image sequences where both the following occur:
1. The combined area of flashes occurring concurrently (but not necessarily contiguously) occupies more than one quarter of any 335 × 268 pixel rectangle anywhere on the displayed screen area when the content is viewed at 1024 by 768 pixels and…
2. There are more than three flashes within any one-second period.
Note: For the general flashing threshold, a flash is defined as a pair of opposing changes in brightness of 10% or more of full scale white brightness, where brightness is calculated as .2126*R + .7152*G + .0722B using linearised R, G, and B values. Linearised-X = (X/FS)^2.2 where FS is full scale (usually 255 today). An “opposing change” is an increase followed by a decrease, or a decrease followed by an increase.
Red flashing threshold
A transition to or from a saturated red where the following occurs: The combined area of flashes occurring concurrently occupies more than one quarter of any 335 × 268 pixel rectangle anywhere on
the displayed screen area when the content is viewed at 1024 by 768 pixels and there are more than three flashes within any one-second period.
All creative should be supplied to our Ad Operations team at email@example.com
Any technical queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (cc’ing your Ad Operations Executive)
Requests for reports should be made to: email@example.com