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Ad-ID, the time is now, an editorial by ANA President / CEO Bob Liodice

Monday, October 15, 2012

There are no more excuses for not employing a universal standard for coding advertising assets 

- By Bob Liodice, President and CEO, ANA

In late summer 2012, the ANA’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to make Ad-ID the industry standard for all advertising asset coding by January 2014. Enough with all the industry excuses for not employing Ad-ID. There are no more valid reasons, no more lame excuses, and no rationale for deferring the broad scale adoption of Ad-ID. None.

So what’s all the fuss about? Let’s start at the beginning and talk about the grungy side of advertising: the “marketing supply chain,” which represents all the backroom business processes that move the creative from advertiser to agency to vendor to media. Most marketers like to look the other way when it comes to managing this because it’s not “sexy.” But the reality is that the process is suboptimal and it costs the industry plenty. The supply chain is unproductive and messy because much of it is mired in old, analog-based processes. The lost productivity in time, rework, and errors costs the industry $1 billion to $3 billion annually; that translates to $10 billion to $30 billion over a decade. I don’t know about you, but I see no reason to waste $30 billion over 10 years when the solution sits right in front of us: Ad-ID.

The supply chain needs a common coding system — one that serves functions similar to what the UPC code does with products and services. Each advertising asset should have a unique code assigned to it so that the asset finds its way through the supply chain like greased lightning. Unfortunately, the industry has not completely embraced this philosophy. Today, only 41 percent of television commercials,12 percent of radio executions, and practically no digital ads at all leverage Ad-ID. All other marketers use homegrown coding systems that lead to confusion and waste, at an enormous cost to all players in the chain.

While lost productivity is one issue, the other major casualty of poor industry asset coding is suboptimum syndicated measurement. Without a common standardized coding base, syndicated measurement companies scramble to pull their data together — often incorrectly. This costs marketers dearly in terms of weak accountability and lost revenue due to bad decision making.

Ad-ID carries all the metadata necessary for the digital asset to fly through the supply chain “error free.” That means no rework, optimum productivity, and great measurement potential. So what’s not to like about it? The industry call to action is to have one universal advertising asset coding system by January 2014: Ad-ID.