Identification: It's as Easy as ABC

11/26/2019 - A new white paper released by five leading advertising standards organizations highlights the importance for brand safety of adopting effective identification measures across the digital advertising supply chain. Released by the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) in coordination with Ad-ID®, EIDR, Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), and IAB Tech Lab, "Identification: It's as Easy as ABC" outlines the full scope of existing and planned identifiers for advertising assets, businesses, and consumers.

"Transparency is a critical foundation for brand safety, because you can't manage threats or protect your brand if you can't track your ads, identify the organizations in your supply chain, or tell if your ads are reaching real consumers or fraud bots," said Mike Zaneis, co-founder of the Brand Safety Institute and CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group. "TAG is proud of our efforts to extend transparency across the ad ecosystem through the TAG-ID, and we look forward to working with our peer organizations to provide a similar level of transparency around assets and consumers."

The white paper urged participants in the digital advertising supply chain to learn and adopt the three primary types of identifiers, as appropriate:

  • Asset IDs – which identify creative assets as they go through the advertising supply chain. Ad-ID is used for advertisements in the United States and EIDR (Entertainment Identifier Registry) is used internationally for publishers' video program content assets. There are other regional and local ad creative identifiers like the clock number in the UK.
  • Business IDs – which identify the various companies involved in the advertising supply chain. The TAG-ID from the Trustworthy Accountability Group is used to identify companies.
  • Consumer IDs – which attempt to anonymously identify individual users or households and are usually tied to associated devices or browsers. The DigiTrust ID from IAB Tech Lab can be used to identify browsers tied to users or households.

The white paper outlined adoption recommendations for different participants in the supply chain for each type of IDs. For instance, regarding business IDs, the white paper "recommended that companies include the request for a partner's TAG-ID as part of all standard contracts, requests for proposal, insertion orders and media plan templates. In addition, TAG-ID should be used as part of OpenRTB protocols and within ads.txt for programmatic transactions. These approaches provide the most value to the entire advertising supply chain."

Harold S Geller, Executive Director of Ad-ID says, "We're proud to have contributed to this framework for using identifiers in the advertising supply chain.  At the end of the day, making sure the correct ad appears in front of the appropriate consumer is one of the industry's principal focuses, and ensuring that each ad is registered with Ad-ID, and that the code is persistent through the supply chain, is key to enhanced cross-platform interoperability, measurement, and operational efficiency, all of which contribute to enhanced brand safety."

"There has long been confusion surrounding different types of IDs, and more recently tremendous activity surrounding consumer IDs. The IAB Tech Lab standards are relevant to all three types of identifiers called out in the whitepaper: our VAST4 video standard incorporates asset IDs (e.g., Ad-ID), our DigiTrust ID and "Proposal for Enhanced Accountability" address consumer identifiers, and several of our standards inform certification programs run by TAG and BSI, for fighting fraud and ensuring brand safety," said Dennis Buchheim, Executive Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab.

The full white paper, "Identification: It's as Easy as ABC," can be found at https://www.brandsafetyinstitute.com/blog/identification-its-as-easy-as-a-b-c.

About Brand Safety Institute
The Brand Safety Institute was founded to support education on and the practice of Brand Safety in the Digital Advertising Supply Chain. Through a program of research, education, and certification BSI offers knowledge, tools, best practices, and a community of peers to the individuals charged with championing the cause of Brand Safety. For more information on BSI please visit brandsafetyinstitute.com.

About Ad-ID
Ad-ID (ad-id.org) is the industry standard for identifying creative assets (advertisements) in the advertising ecosystem. An Ad-ID is a unique 11 or 12-character alpha-numeric code. Authorized third party systems, as well as proprietary systems, can access Ad-ID codes and associated metadata to reduce the need for rekeying information, which helps avoid errors.

About EIDR
EIDR (eidr.org) is a non-profit, global registry of universally unique identifiers for movie and television assets. A non-proprietary EIDR ID consists of a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) standard registry prefix, the unique suffix for each asset, and a check digit. EIDR is intended for not only automating the tracking of completed works - such as feature films and TV (series, seasons and episodes), but also for related objects - such as specific edits and clips.

About Trustworthy Accountability Group
The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is the leading global certification program fighting criminal activity and increasing trust in the digital advertising industry (tagtoday.net). Created by the industry's top trade organizations, TAG's mission is to eliminate fraudulent traffic, combat malware, prevent Internet piracy, and promote greater transparency in digital advertising. TAG advances those initiatives by bringing companies across the digital advertising supply chain together to set the highest standards. The TAG-ID is a global and persistent identifier that enables a wide variety of use cases for all entities within the digital advertising supply chain. The use of TAG-IDs enables digital ad companies to ensure that they are working with trusted parties throughout the life of their campaigns.

About IAB Technology Laboratory (Tech Lab)
The IAB Technology Laboratory (Tech Lab) is a non-profit consortium that engages a member community globally to develop foundational technology and standards that enable growth and trust in the digital media ecosystem. Comprised of digital publishers, ad technology firms, agencies, marketers, and other member companies, IAB Tech Lab focuses on solutions for brand safety and ad fraud; identity, data, and consumer privacy; ad experiences and measurement; and programmatic effectiveness. Its work includes the OpenRTB real-time bidding protocol, ads.txt anti-fraud specification, Open Measurement SDK for viewability and verification, VAST video specification, and DigiTrust identity service.

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