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Aussie advertisers call for more bloat in web ads

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If you’re watching a free-to-air television program, your direct financial input to the communications channel between you and the TV station is effectively zero. Whatever it costs the broadcaster to use its spectrum is paid by the broadcaster. When an advertiser yells out the latest TV, computer and carpet specials, it’s because the advertiser paid to use a resource owned by the broadcaster.

On the Internet, the user’s channel is paid for by the user – but try telling that to the Austrailan advertising industry. According to a report on Australia’s media and marketing Website mUmBRELLA, advertisers - via The Communications Council - are asking to more than double the standard file size for online ads at major sites.

The increase – from 40 kB to 100 kB – wouldn’t lead to slower page loads, according to Iain McDonald, chair of the CC’s digital committee and executive creative director at agency Razorfish, because "we’ve got an NBN on the way". He also said that since the average Web page size is 1.3 MB, the increase was trivial overall.

He told mUmBRELLA that "Australia has a great opportunity to start showing the world what we can do".

The agency world also wants the file size increased because it's so hurtful when they deliver innovative, engaging and truly fabulous creative, only to have the site owner send it back to have it shrunk, all so users and Google robots can load the pages faster.

In the other corner is the Interactive Advertising Bureau, representative of Australia’s media owners, which is concerned that bigger ads would lead to bigger bandwidth bills for media owners and higher advertising prices. Following the current Australian trend, the IAB has asked for a cost-benefit analysis of larger standard ad file sizes. ®

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