Standard Display Ads

In light of the recent announcement of the Chrome Plugin Power Saver feature that may become the default as early as September 2015, we highly recommend that you build your display and companion ad creatives using image formats rather than Flash. This will prevent your ads from being automatically paused as well as avoid negative impact to performance and reach.

How the Standard Display Ads Work

Standard display ads run across different Google properties:

  • YouTube: all sections of the site except the Homepage
  • Finance: all sections of the site
  • Zagat: all sections of the site as top and bottom unit
They are available as a 300x250 ad or a 300x60 video ad companion. For the bottom unit at Zagat, 300x600 size can also be used. We accept multiple formats - Flash, images, or rich media (Flash and HTML5) from approved vendors. Rich media ads must be third-party served. This format is also available to you through AdWords.

We do not accept pop-ups, expandable ads, floating ads, or any ads with uninitiated audio. All fees from rich media vendors must be paid for by the advertiser or agency. We do not cover rich media fees.

Required Assets

Please provide one of the following:

  • Third-party served: approved vendor tag
    • If you're providing tags from DoubleClick, InRed tag formats are required.
  • Site-served: image and click-through URL with an optional Flash SWF asset
Page requests will be via HTTPS (SSL) or HTTP. Any ad or creative making requests for tracking pixels, creative assets, or data must use the same protocol as the page or default to HTTPS (SSL). Impression tracking pixels must always use HTTPS (SSL).

Creative Submission and Turn Around Time

  • Assets received by our Campaign Managers no later than FOUR business days prior to campaign start date sent via your Account Manager.
  • Maximum of 2 creative revisions for site-served creatives are allowed per 6-week period for active campaigns.
  • Maximum of 3 creatives per site-served placement.

Large/Medium Rectangle

Technical specifications (site-served)


Dimensions: 300x250
300x60 (YouTube video ad companion only)
300x600 (Zagat only)
Formats: .GIF, .JPG, .PNG* or SWF with backup .GIF/.JPG/ .PNG*
Max Flash Version: Flash Player 11.5 (SWF 18, AS3 or lower)
Max Frame Rate: Up to 24 fps
Max File Size 150KB (50KB max for Auction non-skippable video)


Max Animation Time: 30 seconds (all animation, including loops, must stop at 30 seconds)
Audio: No sound
Border: Creatives with partially black or white backgrounds must have a visible border of a contrasting color.
clickTAG implementation: If your creative has more than one clickable area or contains interactive elements, please follow these instructions for clickTAG implementation.
  *.PNG images that use alpha-channels or color profiles may show differently to the users in different systems.

Technical specifications (third-party served)


Dimensions: 300x250
300x60 (YouTube video ad companion only)
300x600 (Zagat only)
Frame Rate: Up to 24 fps
HTML5 All HTML5 ads must gracefully fallback to support basic HTML5 to ensure full functionality across all modern browsers. Flash fallback is not supported and Flash content is not permitted in HTML5 ads on YouTube.

Load Requirements

Initial Load Size: 150 KB maximum is recommended for the fastest initial load time.
Total non-user initiated load size: Up to 2.2 MB
* initial plus subsequent/polite loads
Includes: all progressive video, .SWFs, images, HTML etc. (true streaming not included)
CPU Usage: Units containing Flash must not exceed 40% of a user's CPU. Common causes of high CPU use are continued animation & heavy animation sequences.


Border and iFrame: Must stay within iframe. Creatives with partially black or white backgrounds must have a visible border of a contrasting color.
Mouseover Policy: Only user-initiated mouse effects (by rollover or click) allowed and are always in control by the user. Effects can turn mouse into different icon and/or animate portions of the ad. Sound effects are not allowed on mouseover/rollover.


HTML5 FLV video is not permitted. If video is used, both MP4, and either WebM or Ogg formats must be used to ensure compatibility across all major browsers.
Autoplay animation/video: 30 seconds (all animation, including loops, must stop at 30 seconds)
On load audio: No sound, only on click
User-initiated video: On click only
Must include: progress bar, play/pause/stop buttons, and mute/unmute button
Actions on user click: All sound must stop upon exit click.

Compatible Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10+, Firefox 25+, Safari 6+; Chrome 33+

Tracking Elements

  • Third-party click redirects are accepted.
  • Third-party impression tracking pixels accepted for site-served only (two pixels maximum).

Research (only available for video ad companion on YouTube)

  • Can accept a survey invitation banner for brand-lift/ad effectiveness studies.
  • No pop-ups, layers, or other out-of-banner formats are allowed.

We will only accept third party redirect/tracking pixels from a certified ad serving vendor. Please refer to the full list of approved vendors. For additional information, you may visit AdWords approved vendors.

Reporting Metrics

  • Ad impressions (not supported for video ad companions served via VAST)
  • Clicks and click-through rate (not supported for video ad companions served via VAST)

Additional Details

  • Advertisers may use the approved YouTube social media exit button and/or use "YouTube" in text as per the YouTube Logo Usage in Ads policy.
  • Manipulation of the Flash Player quality and the Context Menu is not allowed on YouTube.
  • Standard Display Ads are delivered as a companion to a dummy In-Video Overlay. YouTube is aware of ad delivery issues with some companion units due to the nature of how VAST is requested and rendered by the IMA SDK. Please note that if the unit is booked on a CPM basis, it is billed on a companion impressions basis, while booked impressions can not be guaranteed. We are working to resolve these issues as soon as possible.