For those not aware, in order to create dynamic display ads that don’t look like donkey poo, the developer needs to embed the font-outlines for any and all characters which MIGHT appear in the ad’s dynamic text areas (headline, call to action, etc). For standard North-American english, the Latin I characterset works just fine, and results in ~10k of the final swf size. This number is variable, depending on the complexity of the font, but I used Helvetica for my example.. for simplicity sake. Most western European languages (and French-Canadian) are easy enough to accomodate, just manually add a few more key characters to that characterset, and you’re good.
However, as it is now, it’s simply not feasible to embed asian characters in a Flash unit destined for use as a banner ad (even with rich-media bytesize allowances). Why? The sheer number of unique glyphs used by asian languages means that if we want to include all possible characters, we need to include the entire base characterset for that language, which for chinese, weighs in at a hefty ~2MB. Yes. Approximately two megabytes.