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Ad-ID wins mandate in voice talent pact.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In a move that’s likely to jumpstart the rollout of Ad-ID in the radio industry, the new contract settlement between SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry will require all commercials to include an Ad-ID code.  “For the radio industry this is a significant move,” Ad-ID chief growth officer Harold Geller says.

Only 12% of radio commercials currently include the code, he says, compared to roughly half for television.  With any spot using a union voiceover talent mandated to now include Ad-ID, Geller predicts soon at least one-third of radio spots will carry the identifying information.  SAG-AFTRA, the 4As and the Association of National Advertisers all agreed to the requirement as the new contract ties voiceover pay more closely with airplay impressions.  Under the union contract — which still needs to be ratified by members — there’s a grace period through March 31, 2014 to give broadcasters and advertisers time to ramp up Ad-ID use.  Using Ad-ID would help voice talent more easily track when and where their spots air. “It was one of the least contentious things in this negotiation, because there was a need for it,” Geller says.

Referred to as a UPC for advertising, the 12-character Ad-ID code is being pushed by radio’s largest national advertisers.  In addition to helping SAG-AFTRA voice talent more easily track their spots, it will also help sort out some of the biggest problems the union sees with radio spots, including the lack of consistency in labeling commercials and media outlets.  The requirement will also apply to online-only commercials.  Live reads are the only ads not covered, although Geller says some advertisers are now putting an Ad-ID on top of the script.

Geller says the trafficking and sales software systems are already onboard, pointing out that even locally non-union produced spots can easily create Ad-ID by entering things like an advertiser’s name, commercial length and spot title into a web portal.

Besides making advertising more accountable, ANA president Bob Liodice says the use of Ad-ID will “eliminate costly errors” that come from the use of several different tracking numbers put on spots. The nine-year old effort will issue its one millionth code in the coming weeks, and the focus for radio is turning to industry education.