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Advertising creatives must not be presented as AOL content nor functionality nor introduced in any way that does not make it clear the viewer is seeing an advertisement. Similarly, issue advertisements, infomercials or infotisements may not be presented as news or otherwise mislead the viewer into believing that the content is anything other than advertising.
Faux Functionality is NOT allowed on AOL Homepages.
Definition: Faux functionality ads are those that contain graphic representations of "system" or "functionality" elements, typically encountered in a PC/Mac environment. There are four principal categories of faux, which are listed below in section B.
(A) General guidelines on use of faux functionality on AOL
- Ads must meet all standard AOL advertising guidelines, as well as those provided herein.
- Ads should not have messaging designed to mislead members into going to a site that is unrelated to content of the banner ad.
(B) Types of Faux Functionality
- Active elements: buttons and hyperlinks
- Interactive elements: dropdowns, list-boxes, radio buttons, check boxes
- Desktop icons: file folders, zip folders, document icons, graphic icons, etc.
- Not Allowed:
- Other: close "x" boxes, error messages, downloads, Instant Messages, faux arrows/cursors
(C) Clear Distinction from AOL Network Properties
- Faux functionality ads must be clearly distinguished as an advertisement. Elements within the ad that will provide distinction are:
- Advertiser name
- Wording "advertisement"
- All banners ads with white background must include a 1-pixel border. Banner ads with non-white backgrounds are required to contain a 1-pixel border only if they will appear on screens with a similar/identical background tone to the banner.
- Ads may not be designed to blend into the screen to give the appearance of AOL content/functionality.
- Ads may not use the AOL font family in creatives (Thesis: The Mix, The Sans), unless the same typeface is part of their brand/identity or website.
- Ads may not emulate AOL style buttons.
- Channel Branding for Internal Promotion campaigns must reside on the right-hand side of the banner. This applies to all horizontal banner sizes.
- Faux ads may not use transparent backgrounds.
- Avoid Deceptive Messaging. Ads may not use faux operational error messaging or symbols, i.e., a "your system may be vulnerable" message, icons signifying system problems, system folders or icons, system status indicators/message, etc.b. Ads may not use faux maximize/minimize buttons, faux arrows/cursors or faux "X-out" buttons.