Identity Theft: Google Hijacks Madison Avenue's AdID

Lost in the headlines about news that Google is readying a new non-cookie based method for tracking consumers and targeting and serving ads to them, is the fact that the initiative’s name -- AdID -- is already the registered trademark of an institution that takes trademarks, brand names and identities pretty seriously: Madison Avenue.

Ad-ID, of course, is a joint-venture of the Association of National Advertisers and the 4As, that markets a digital coding technology for identifying and managing all advertising assets -- including creative, production and media -- across all the platforms advertisers and agencies need to manage them on.

The 4As and the ANA have fought a long, hard battle to get compliance for Ad-ID, and now have the majority of major advertisers, as well as their marketing services food chain, supporting it. And last year, MEDIA magazine named Ad-ID it’s “Marketer of the Year” for those efforts.



“Based on everything we have seen, Google has only informally used the Ad-ID name for its "anonymous identifier for advertising" project,” Ad-ID Chief Growth Officer Harold Geller tells MAD, adding, that it is a “registered trademark of Advertiser Digital Identification LLC,” the official joint-venture entity.

“I'm certain once the product naming gurus at Google discover that, they will establish a name that will not create industry confusion,” Geller hopes.

While there has been no official comment from Google on that, the search giant has been optimizing its own AdID organic results over the ad industry’s (see screenshot of “AdID” search query on Google this morning).

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