02/15/2011 02:26 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Why is Ad-ID Important to the Media and Advertising Industry?

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Last week, several trade organizations announced their support of the nearly decade-old Ad-ID initiative of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA). Why is this important and relevant to your business? In 2002, I wrote my first commentary on Ad-ID, the digital advertising identification standard. In 2003, I wrote another report, commenting: "Ad-ID has the potential to radically alter the dynamics of television measurement, trafficking, and verification systems." That forecast appears about to come true for all digital media, after far too many years of effort by the 4A's Harold Geller, the late Barbara Bacci Mirque and others. Last week, the trade organizations announced the support of Nielsen, IAB, CAB, TVB, SNTA, plus the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the Advanced Media Workflow Association and other creative and production groups. Although slow in coming, the industry has finally coalesced around a standard that ANA President Bob Liodice says will assure "accurate and reliable digital media measurement" and streamline steps from production through distribution and airplay.

According to Liodice, "With Ad-ID now officially recognized as the industry standard for coding digital advertising assets, we have taken a major step forward to streamline the marketing supply chain and enable multi-platform content delivery. It is imperative that everyone involved in creating and distributing advertising assets across all platforms begin identifying them with Ad-ID." Nielsen intends to use Ad-ID for commercial ratings and verification across all platforms. Currently Ad-ID is utilized by more than 700 advertisers.

Here's what I wrote in 2003: "Initiated, endorsed, and developed through a joint venture of the ANA and 4A's, Ad-ID is intended to replace the outdated ISCI coding system that most industry experts consider flawed and outdated. The new web-based database generates unique identifying codes for all ads in all media, creating a permanent database for sharing and retaining information about every ad and campaign." An ANA executive expressed the belief that "the industry is just six to nine months from the tipping point when all marketers and media suppliers will recognize how important a standard digital advertising identification code is for the future of the industry." Well, eight years later, the industry has finally achieved that vision.

As I reported in 2003, "In the 1980s, Wal-mart deployed UPC scanner technology in every retail operation, a trend that was adopted by virtually every major retailer nationwide and now has expanded even to small retailers. Prior to the availability of the scanner data, retailers controlled all data emanating from consumer purchases. Once national marketers were able to access retail sales data in real time through centralized scanner data, they were able to employ new marketing and sales tactics.

"Similarly, the availability of national computerized web-based data on advertising placements will not only enable improved real-time verification, but has the potential to open the market for detailed data on the impact of specific advertising messages targeted to homogeneous audiences. As all sales data, ratings, and advertising messages are digitized, they can be cross-catalogued to provide a broad array of insights."

Mirque noted in 2003 that "it has begun to dawn on people that "current systems do not work with addressable and video-on-demand technologies and emerging forms of advertising will require a zero defect identifier." Although it has taken to 2011, Barbara Bacci Mirque's passion and work is being validated.

Jack Myers can be reached at JackMyersThinkTank is free and underwritten, as part of, by subscriptions to Jack Myers Media Business Report ( Subscribe free to all MediaBizBloggers reports at www.MediaBizBloggers. For Jack Myers Media Business Report subscription information visit or contact Jack Myers at Jack Myers and Media Advisory Group provide details on all underwriters and companies in which we have an investment at This commentary was originally published at