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Mandate Q&A

This area contains Q&A regarding the SAG/AFTRA Ad-ID Mandate. Answers are provided by the JPC.

You can browse the entire list, or filter the list based on the categories below:

Will it be required in DDS NetPak or SpotPak or Media Ocean's systems to schedule commercials using all 11 or 12 characters?

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Media Ocean and other vendors will need to consult with their customers in this regard, as the clearinghouse initiative progresses, the need for data from other systems will be discussed, however the full Ad-ID code should be used in any system that references an Ad-ID.

What required union reports are you referring to in the Q&A?

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In general, we are referring to the various forms used to hire actors and report contributions to the union Pension & Health Plans.

What led the union to agree to require Ad-ID?

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During a 2012 pilot test, it was found that commercial identifiers are not used consistently, which resulted in the need to estimate a significant percentage of the use fees calculated. A uniform digital identifier ensures more accurate accounting
than today’s system of varied identifiers and manual calculations. Full adoption of Ad-ID will allow accurate tracking and measurement by advertisers of their advertising assets across all platforms.

What is to stop the union charging session fees for each occurrence of an ad that has many versions and hence many Ad-IDs?

There are acceptable edits, lifts, and tags that are considered "derivatives" of the original spot, and allowed within the original commercial. You should get to know these rules, and use the Ad-ID derivative function. The number of Ad-ID's has no relevance to the number of commercials produced under the commercials contract any more than changing ISCI or other identifiers were in the past.

What is the Clearinghouse Initiative?

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The ANA, 4A's and SAG-AFTRA have agreed to jointly undertake the Clearinghouse Initiative - designed to ensure more accurate tracking and accounting of talent residual payments. It will be a centralized, secure database to manage, aggregate and report upon commercial airplay. As the project moves forward in the coming year, more details about the Clearinghouse Initiative will become available.

What important databases are you referring to in the Q&A?

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Ad-ID is part of a bigger project known as the Clearinghouse Initiative.  The Clearinghouse Initiative has the goal of creating common digital identifiers for all media silos -- talent payments, programs, networks, stations, etc. so that all monies spent in the silos can be audited and tracked in an efficient and accurate manner.  This will result in better measurement of ROI and reduce the number of claims from actors.

What happens if we do not comply?

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Unless there is a legitimate reason that cannot be overcome through reasonable business measures, advertisers who are not compliant will have problems filing required reports with the union and may be unable to access important databases should an actor claim a violation of the commercials contract. Thus, non-compliance, even if excused for business reasons, does not represent best practices and the agreement between the industry and the union to support optimal measurement and monitoring in the marketplace.

What happens if no code is assigned at the time of hiring the SAG/AFTRA actors? For many cases, codes are not usually assigned to a commercial until footage is edited and approved.

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Failing to assign an Ad-ID code before hiring will not delay production. However, when paperwork needs to be filed with the union, e.g., Pension & Health Fund contributions, the Ad-ID will be required. So the earlier in the production process that it is assigned, the less likely there will be mistakes in processing and tracking.

What are the best practices for when an Ad-ID code should be assigned to an advertising asset?

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The Ad-ID code should be created at the time of contracting SAG-AFTRA talent. This allows appropriate tracking throughout the process. If the code identifying the advertising asset is not used at the outset, handling potential claims regarding talent compensation will only be more complicated and add costs to the process. The new contract also lays out circumstances where edits of commercials that were produced under the previous contract become subject to the new contract, those commercials need to be registered in the Ad-ID system.

We have our own system that generates unique codes and holds metadata. Why can't we feed the number and the metadata to whatever systems the union dictates and not use Ad-ID?

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The Ad-ID system contains, and will feed the standardized data required by the clearinghouse. Ad-ID is the sole standard commercial identifier which will be accepted. Ad-ID does have the ability to integrate with other systems so that information required by internal systems can transfer seamlessly.

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