In-view ad refresh is now allowed in Acceptable Ads

The Acceptable Ads Standard is now the default ad experience for over 250 million internet users. Since its inception in 2017, the Standard has evolved to reflect the changing online world and the Acceptable Ads Committee is committed to seeking out user feedback and conducting high-quality independent research that adds value to all industry stakeholders.

In 2022, the Acceptable Ads Committee researched ad-blocking users’ sentiment toward websites featuring ad refresh implementation and discovered that there is tolerance for ad refresh implementations under certain circumstances

As a result, the Standard is being updated to permit ad refreshing on desktop browsers, provided that the following requirements are all met.

The following general requirement applies for all ad refresh implementation:

  • Only permitted in desktop browsers
  • Only a single ad unit on the page is refreshed
  • The refreshed ad is the same size as the ad that it replaced
  • The refreshing ad unit is located in the side rail (i.e., beside the Primary Content)

In addition to the general requirements, only the following ad formats can be refreshed at the stated frequency:

  1. On a scrollable single page (e.g., article): a 300×250 or 160×600 static banner ad or smaller1, with a refresh rate2 of 30 seconds or longer4.
  2. On a non-scrollable single page3 (e.g., game): a 300×250 or 160×600 static banner ad or smaller, with a refresh rate of 60 seconds4, only if there are no other ads on the page.

Background on the research

The Acceptable Ads Standard defines what ad formats are considered acceptable by users. Until now, the Standard stated that ad units “that visibly load new ads if the Primary Content does not change” were not considered acceptable. 

The commissioned research investigated users’ acceptance of refreshing ads under two distinct browsing experiences (a long-form article and a gaming experience). Different refresh rates, ad loads and other variables were tested, and only implementations that met the necessary criteria were deemed “acceptable.” On the basis of this research (a copy of which can be found here), the Acceptable Ads Committee has unanimously voted to amend the Standard to reflect changing user perceptions and to continue to provide a balanced approach to adding value to the industry.


1. Smaller ad unit sizes are permitted, provided that neither the height or width stated in each case is exceeded.

2. The “refresh rate” is the time period that elapses before content in an ad unit is replaced with new content.

3. A non-scrollable single-page includes a page that allows for a nominal amount of scrolling where such scrolling does not substantively display new primary content and/or the user is not reasonably expected to scroll on the page.

4. Combination with user action and/or event-based trigger: User action and (or) event ad-refresh triggers are allowed only when combined with the acceptable time thresholds mentioned above.

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