Digital Specs

Custom Ad Units | Rich Media | Pre-Roll Video | Text | HTML Email | Submission Guidelines

Ad Units (Standard IAB)

Ad Units File Size/Load Expansion/Direction # of Loops/
Sec per Loop
Frames/Loop Sound 3rd Party
300×250/
300×600
40k or 40k initial/
100k polite
672×280 –
Left and Down
3 / 30 seconds –
90 second total
Unlimited User initiated Yes
728×90/
970×90
40k or 40k initial/
100k polite
970×250 –
Down only
3 / 30 seconds –
90 second total
Unlimited User initiated Yes

Custom Ad Units

Ad Units File Size/Load Expansion/Direction Time  Live Frequency Cap Per User Sound 3rd Party
640×480 Superstitial/Interstitial 60k N/A 15 seconds 2 in 24 hrs No Yes

Homepage Takeover Client Specs

This is the spec sheet and timeline for Homepage Takeover, Category and Launch Sponsorships.  Client Assets needed, as many as possible (items in Bold are required):

  • Company logo
    • .AI or .EPS
  • Company Style Guide
  • Product Images / General Creative (i.e. Banners) -
    • .PSD or High Res .jpg, .gif, .pdf or .png and associated Fonts
  • URL to a webpage that you would like us to base the “look & feel” of the unit on
  • Any call to action you would like us to use (50 characters or less including spaces)
  • A re-direct URL for the user to click to for each ad unit
  • Impression and click tracker for each ad unit if the client wishes to track on their end

Please take note that timelines are all based on receipt of the SIO, client creative assets, and timely approvals.  If there are any delays then the live date will be impacted.

Ad Unit Size Provided by Client Tracking Lead time including approvals
Rising Star Pushdown 970×90 closed 970×415 open Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days.

  • Rising Star Pushdown, Billboard, Leaderboard, and Wide Leader can not all run at the same time. Only one of these can serve in the top position.
  • http://www.iab.net/risingstars#1
Rising Star Billboard 970px Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days.

  • Rising Star Pushdown, Billboard, Leaderboard, and Wide Leader can not all run at the same time. Only one of these can serve in the top position.
Leaderboard 728×90 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days.

  • Rising Star Pushdown, Billboard, Leaderboard, and Wide Leader can not all run at the same time. Only one of these can serve in the top position.
Wide Leader 970px90 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days.

  • Rising Star Pushdown, Billboard, Leaderboard, and Wide Leader can not all run at the same time. Only one of these can serve in the top position.
Med Rectangle 300×250 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days
All Access Rising Star Push-Down 970×90 closed 970×415 open Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days
Pushdown will auto open and close after 8 seconds.
Specs - http://www.iab.net/risingstars#1
Skin 1350×1200 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL
  • Frames the entire page
  • Skin is 170px wide on either side of center well (1010px)
  • Max file size 250k
  • No animation or sound allowed
  • If provided by client creative should be supplied as a layered PSD. Template will be provided.
  • All creative must function uniformly on both Mac and PC platforms as well as multiple version of Chrome, Firefox, and IE.

Category Sponsorship Client Specs

Category and Launch Sponsorships.  Client Assets needed, as many as possible (items in Bold are required):

  • Company logo
    • .AI or .EPS
  • Company Style Guide
  • Product Images / General Creative (i.e. Banners)
    • .PSD or High Res .jpg, .gif, .pdf, or .png and associated Fonts
  • URL to a webpage that you would like us to use (50 characters or less including spaces)
  • A re-direct URL for the user to click to for each ad unit
  • Impression and click tracker for each ad unit if the client wishes to track on their end

Please take note that timelines are all based on receipt of the SIO, client creative assets, and timely approvals.  If there are any delays then the live date will be impacted.

Ad Unit Size Provided by Client Tracking Lead time including approvals
Top Unit – LB, Billboard, Wide LB, or Push-down 728×90, 970×250, 970×90, See IAB Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days
IAB Specs – http://www.iab.net/displayrisingstars#1
Med Rectangle or Half Page 300×250, 300×600 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days
Skin 1350×1200 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL
  • Frames the entire page
  • Skin is 170px wide on either side of center well (1010px)
  • Max file size 250k
  • No animation or sound allowed
  • If provided by client creative should be supplied as a layered PSD. Template will be provided.
  • All creative must function uniformly on both Mac and PC platforms as well as multiple version of Chrome, Firefox, and IE.
Leaderboard 728×90 Client or IDGCSMB 3rd Party tag or 1×1 pixel & URL 72 hrs if client supplied otherwise 10 business days

Client Creative needed for custom ad units created by IDGCSMB

These are the products (all should have simple functionality, meaning only one click through and limited animation if any):

  • Leave Behind/Presenter Logo
  • Sponsored Products (Post or Review)
  • Video IMU

Client Assets needed, as many as possible (items in Bold are required):

  • Company logo – .AI or .EPS
  • Product Images/General Creative (i.e. Banners) - .PSD or High Res .jpg, .gif, .pdf or .png and associated Fonts
  • Flash Creative - Native .FLA and associated Fonts
  • Video - MP4 preferred but will accept .FLV
  • URL to a webpage that you would like us to base the “look & feel” of the unit on
  • Any call to action you would like us to use (50 characters or less including spaces, for some ad units it may be less)
  • A re-direct URL for the user to click to
  • Impression and click tracker

Rich Media

Flash

  • Must have clickTag. All Flash creative must have a backup static image for non-Flash users (30k or less file size)
  • Please send click-thru URLs separately and do not imbed directly into Flash

Third-Party Vendors
We accept all 3rd-party tags. We prefer DoubleClick InRed, javascript, or iframes (in that order).

All Rich Media

  1. Must have a close button visible at all times
  2. Sound must be user initiated
  3. Expandable units must not exceed the specs above.
  4. Mouse over/Mouse off is accepted for expandable unit.

Video

  • 1280×720 (16:9)
  • Uncompressed .mov, .avi, or .mpg file. Video will be re-encoded
  • 15 sec preferred, 30 sec max
  • 1×1 Tracking pixel
  • Click Tracker/Click-through URL

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Pre-Roll Video

  • Resolution: 562×316 (1024×576 full screen)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • File Size: We don’t have a  hard limit on file size, but we do require the bitrate to be under 1500kbps. Most files will hover around 6MB per clip.
  • File Format: We convert everything to M4V and OGG, but we can generally read any other format
  • Frame Rate: 29.97 FPS
  • Codecs Accepted: We use h.264/aac for our M4V clips, and theora/vorbis for OGG. We can accept most codecs as input though, since we use ffmpeg for our conversions

Text

Sponsored Post
  • Headline: 50 characters, including spaces
  • Description: Up to 70 characters, including spaces
  • 1×1 Tracking pixel
  • Click Tracker/Clickthrough URL
  • Image – 200x126px
Today’s Special Offers
  • Title: Up to 50 characters, including spaces
  • Description: Up to 100 characters, including spaces
  • Click Tracker/Clickthrough URL

Third Party HTML E-Mail

Content Requirements:

  • All advertisers must provide company contact information either directly in the body of the email or in through a link. That contact information must include an email address and/or phone number.
  • All software advertisers must include system requirement specifications for their product either in the body of the email or through a link.
  • All email creative ads must clearly display the sale price of the product or service being promoted.
  • All messages must include unsubscribe copy for insertion in the footer of the email blast. This must include advertiser’s physical address, as well as an unsubscribe e-mail address and/or link to where a user may unsubscribe. The copy should read as follows:
    This email was sent from PCWorld. Your email address has not been shared with Company XYZ. If you wish to have your email address excluded from future mailings containing promotional content from Company XYZ please click here. Company XYZ is located at:123 Main Street, Suite 987, Town, ST 12345.

Technical Considerations:

  • Please be aware that recipients use different platforms, browsers and e-mail clients. Hence, not all recipients will be able to view HTML e-mail. It is required that you also provide a text version of your message.
  • Do not use frames or rich media in HTML messages. JavaScript is not allowed, as many e-mail clients and applications will strip out the code, rendering messages unreadable.
  • Do not use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets); rather, make sure your table, font and other definitions are hard-coded in HTML.
  •  There is no limit on the number of urls you include in your message.

Graphics:
Please be aware that up to 50% of email readers will view your message with the images turned off. We recommend your call to action and other important information about your offer are not presented only within images, but are displayed in the text of the creative as well.

  • Graphics that are referenced in the HTML file must be hosted on the Advertiser’s server(s). Please make sure to verify that the servers can handle the traffic generated by the mailing.
  • Graphics that are referenced in the HTML file must be hosted on the Advertiser’s server(s).
    Please make sure to verify that the servers can handle the traffic generated by the mailing.
  • Graphic images in an HTML file are referenced to the URL where the images are stored.
    Each URL that references an image must be fully qualified.
  • Please optimize any images you use for the Web. This will keep the file size of the email down which helps deliverability and rendering.
  • To improve download response time, limit the number of images used in a file. The more images that are used, the longer the download time.
  • Use “alt” tags for the more prominent graphics referenced in the HTML messages. An “alt” tag lets you display a text message while a graphic is loading. Recipients who use an e-mail program with an Auto Preview feature, such as Outlook, will view your message instead of just the file name.

Message Design:

  • The design of your message is the most important element in the success of an HTML e-mail campaign. It would be helpful to keep the message to the width of the screen so recipients do not have to scroll across to see the entire design. In order to make the message viewable to the majority of users, we suggest that HTML messages are set-up in a table with the width set to a maximum of 700.
  • Above all, keep the HTML simple, with no JavaScript, no rich media (flash, video, etc.) and no CSS.

Other Considerations:

  • All HTML messages will have a branded (PCWorld, Macworld or TechHive) header and footer added.
  • We are not responsible for making changes to a Mailer’s HTML message. We ask that it be complete at the time of submission for approval.
  • HTML creative is due five business days prior to the scheduled deployment date for approval and testing.
  • We will honor any suppression file that you provide.

Other

HTML Newsletter

  • 300×250 Static Image (No animated GIFs)
  • Clickthrough URL

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Submissions Guidelines

Files may be added to our Ad FTP folder:
Host: ftp.pcworld.com
User ID: adops
Password: rememberme
All creative must function uniformly on both Mac and PC platforms as well as multiple browsers
such as Internet Explorer, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

Creative Deadlines:
Banner:  2 business days prior to launch date
Flash: 5 business days prior to launch date

Note: If creative does not conform to spec, it will not be placed online, which may delay the launch date.
For publisher-served creative, the maximum amount of creatives that can be served is 4 per placement.
If you plan to swap or rotate multiple creatives on PCWorld, please consider using 3rd-Party tags
so that you may swap the creative on your end.