Ad Specifications

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Partner DL3


Native display advertising on AOL Mail. DL #3 lives on the Welcome Page and is the 3rd story on the carousel. Creative is subject to approval prior to launch and must adhere to native branding guidelines to ensure optimal user experience. Click and Impression third party 1x1 tracking accepted but must be secure.


Spec Classification: 
Content Module
Spec Placement: 
AOL Mail
File Type: 
  • In-Feed
  • Main Image Graphic: JPG or GIF/ No border / No animation
Total File Size: 
Backup Image Submission Guidelines: 
Tag must always deliver either a primary experience or acceptable backup for instances when the user's browser does not support creative functionality (e.g. Flash, HTML5, JavaScript).
Z-Index Guidelines: 
Submission Guidelines: 
  • Requires 7 business day turn-around (contract & creative assets) 
  • Secure creative tags only 
Key Creative Guidelines: 

DL Product Guidelines:

  • Final graphic and copy subject to AOL edits/revisions/approval
  • No 3rd party serving
  • Mail DL will be labeled as “Advertisement”
  • Clicks direct to Partners Site. Graphic, headline text and hyperlink must point to same URL
  • All tracking must be secure. The click URL does not need to be secure
  • Max of 5 banners per line item


Advertising Copy and Link Guidelines:

Headline/Teaser Copy:

  • 40 characters MAX including spaces. May appear on two lines-text will be wrapped after 20 characters at the most recent word
  • All caps
  • Exclamation points or excessive punctuation not acceptable
  • Parenthesis not acceptable
  • Periods not acceptable
  • If quoting a source, must be single quotes (e.g. ‘_____’) 

Link Copy:

  • 30 characters MAX, including spaces
  • Cannot wrap to 2 lines
  • Must use sentence case – only the first word and any proper noun is capitalized
  • Exclamation points or excessive punctuation not acceptable
  • ALL CAPS not acceptable
  • Parenthesis not acceptable
  • Periods not acceptable
  • Dashes must be written as double dashes (--)
  • Must contain a clear call to action and should not rely on blind teases (e.g., 'Click here to learn more' or 'Find out more by clicking') 

Landing Page:

  • Partner DL cannot link to faux news pages
  • All offers on the creative must match the offers on the landing pages


Advertising Text Guidelines:

General Guidelines for Text - The following text is not acceptable:

  • Attention grabbing mechanisms, including text unrelated to the nature of the product being advertised. Words and phrases including “Shocking”, “Breaking News”, “Special Report”, “Alert”, “Stop!”, “Consumer Alert”, "Weird Trick" and “HATE” are not acceptable.
  • Words and phrases that insinuate a user’s computer has been compromised (e.g., references to a breach, malware, spyware, being spied on, etc.)
  • Masked vulgarity (e.g., “Huge A** Savings Today”)
  • Disparaging language
  • Language intimating that use of the advertised product or service will help avoid compliance with a law or promote illegal activity
  • Language that pertains to bodily functions (e.g., references to bathrooms, urine, etc.)
  • False or misleading claims. Claims must not overstate the products effectiveness or the services ability to reach the intended goal. Words and phrases including cure, safe, remove, etc. are not acceptable.
  • Inconsistent offers. All offers presented must be consistent with the offers presented on the corresponding landing pages. All offers presented must correlate to the images being presented as part of the same advertisement.


Advertising Image Guidelines:

General Guidelines for Images:

  • Images must be in good taste and serve to enhance a user’s experience
  • No branding, text, or graphic/clipart overlays allowed in the image
  • There should be one image only. Image cannot consist of multiple images/collage
  • Images cannot look like user generated content or photos taken with a personal camera
  • Images must be photographic in nature and may not contain illustrations
  • Images must be of high resolution/good quality. Loud, clashing colors, poor resolution, intrusive, and/or high-annoyance design elements will not be accepted. Blurry, cluttered and/or hard to read images will not be accepted
  • Images must be clearly relevant to the promotion, easily identifiable as a visual component of the message communicated in the DL and align with the product or service being advertised
  • Images cannot be distorted and/or upside down or sideway orientation
  • Before and after images are not acceptable
  • Images cannot contain explicit or gratuitous sexuality (e.g., images focusing on women in form-fitting clothing, men with bare chests, etc.)
  • Images must be up-to-date making them feel timely and representative of the present
  • Images should not feature a person/object in front of a blank (colored or white) background/backdrop. Images should feature person/object in a contextually relevant environment. 

Specific Guidelines for Images:

  • No dating ads
  • Images of food (including fruits or vegetables) must be clearly referenced in the correlating copy and/or on the landing page
  • Cleavage is acceptable if: a) the person is clearly 18+, b) there is no disembodiment, c) it is not coupled with a sexual innuendo in the tagline, and d) the breasts are not the focus of the advertisement
  • Disembodiment: Advertisements that use images which focus on specific body parts or use exaggerated body parts to gain attention are not acceptable. Models should be shown in complete form including their head. Exceptions to this policy will be made on a case-by-case basis
  • Images must be complete and not cut off (e.g., a full image of a person’s face and head)
  • Images must contain a subject facing forward not an up close view from behind. Exceptions to this policy will be made on a case-by-case basis
  • Images must contain a subject wearing clothing including covering shoulders (straps are acceptable)
  • Religious symbols are not acceptable
  • Graphics images containing gore are not acceptable. Weapons cannot be presented in a violent or threatening manner.
  • Testosterone: Advertising for testosterone boosters is acceptable so long as the creatives do not have images of a) men and woman together in situations or poses that appear sexual in nature, b) women in sexually suggestive poses, attire, and/or situations, c) give the impression that the couple is going to engage in sexual relations, and/or d) are being used to make the user think the main benefit of the product is to enhance their sexual performance. Creatives must use images and text that tout the benefits of using testosterone to increase energy and overall health and well-being only. Images must show the subject partaking in healthful activity.
  • The depiction of drug abuse, implied drug abuse or the perception of encouraging drug use is unacceptable. This includes images of pills, pill bottles, and paraphernalia even if the actual image is of a supplement or herbal remedy. The depiction of drugs and/or paraphernalia is acceptable for promotions of drug related news and anti-drug content only.

Frequency Guidelines for Images:

  • Each DL creative image can run up to 4 times per month and 1 time per week max
Supported Countries: