Ad-ID Becomes Industry Standard for Commercials Under SAG-AFTRA

The tracking codes, which became mandatory March 31, allow ads to be tracked and measured across all media.

As part of the commercials contracts negotiated last year between SAG-AFTRA and advertisers, all ads made under a union contract must now incorporate Ad-ID, the union announced Tuesday.

Ad-ID is technology that allows ads to be tracked across all media. The Web-based system generates unique identifying codes and stores standardized descriptive data that allows ads to be tracked and measured across all media. Under the agreement, the deadline for mandatory adoption of Ad-ID into union-signed commercials was March 31.

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SAG-AFTRA chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez praised the first-of-its-kind industry standard system, saying it will be an enormous benefit to the entire industry.

"We are confident that adoption of a universal tracking code for commercials will benefit the entire industry including advertisers and SAG-AFTRA," Rodriguez said. "Ad-ID will simplify workflow and ensure accurate reporting."

"We know we have employers who have not yet complied, and we will be reaching out to assist them in adopting the system," Rodriguez added. We are optimistic that through dialogue and with the help of management and of Ad-ID itself, we can address most non-compliance without moving to grievance and arbitration procedures."

Douglas J. Wood, partner, Reed Smith LLP and lead negotiator, ANA-4A's Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations said Ad-ID helps equip the industry for the changing media landscape of the 21st century.

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"We are pleased the union is moving forward with digital filing and Ad-ID as a standard part of the reporting function," said Wood. "Both requirements under the collective bargaining agreement are critically important as the union and industry fully embrace the opportunities of the digital age."

Advertisers say the system is not only fast and accurate, but easy to implement. Jessica Blancovich, broadcast and digital traffic manager at The Richards Group, said she has had positive experiences with the system.

"I feel that the universal adoption of Ad-ID across all platforms is essential in enabling workflow efficiencies, eliminating human error, and ensuring accurate measurement and reporting across all fragmented landscapes."

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