We often have situations within a map where one kind of feature contains another, for example, a University polygon contains a Sports Centre polygon and, that polygon contains other features such as buildings. If labelling space is limited such that the labels for any of these features would be dropped due to conflict, we would like to specify that container features take precedence over contained features. So, in this example, if there was only room for 2 labels, building label would be dropped to allow the Sports Centre and University labels to appear; if there was only room for 1 label only the University label would appear.
We are using Maplex. Ideally we think that prioritising labels based on a spatial containment hierarchy (within the extent of the map) would be a preferred default but would like the ability to opt features out (for example where a land parcel is the containing feature, we would not want to prioritise it's label over a contained building's label).