Groups Propose Integrating Ad-ID Into 'UPC' For All Media, Advertising Content


Editor's Note: A correction to this story has been updated here.

In a move to create what could well be called a UPC, or universal product code for all advertising and media content, two media and entertainment and trade groups are partnering with Madison Avenue’s Ad-ID to create a unified, open standard for tracking all forms of content with a single code.

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and the Society for Motion Picture and Television Engineers this morning announced an industry-wide request for information that would bind the ad industry's Ad-ID with the entertainment industry’s Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR) into a single code capable of tracking all advertising and programming content assets regardless of their stage of creation or distribution.

“Given the continually expanding array of delivery platforms and the increase in targeted delivery of content, being able to identify advertising and program material as it is consumed over the plethora of devices out there has become critical,” stated Chris Lennon, president-CEO of MediAnswers, who is chairing the group studying ways to integrate the two coding technologies.

Ad-ID -- which is a product of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies -- was developed as a digital code to ensure that advertising and their assets could be tracked across all digital media from creation through dissemination, and has become the industry standard among most national advertisers and agencies.

This is not the first time the concept of a universal product code for media has been proposed. In the late 1990s, long-time media researcher Gale Metzger proposed the development of a so-called SMART code, as part of the the SMART TV ratings initiative. In 2006, the Audience Measurement Initiative, a precursor to CIMM, revived the idea of an industry-wide “universal media code.”

“We are encouraged by the study group’s progress thus far and the industry’s level of engagement in this significant and necessary endeavor aimed at fixing a broken, antiquated system,” CIMM Managing Director Jane Clarke stated as part of this morning’s announcement.

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