Advanced Television

Ad industry’s addressable media initiative

August 4, 2020

Leading trade associations and companies representing every sector of the global advertising industry have joined together to launch the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, an initiative to advance and protect critical functionalities such as customisation and analytics for digital media and advertising, while safeguarding privacy and improving the consumer experience. The governing group of the Partnership will include the most influential organisations in advertising:

  • Trade bodies: 4A’s, Association of National Advertisers/ANA, Interactive Advertising Bureau, IAB Tech Lab, Network Advertising Initiative, World Federation of Advertisers
  • Advertisers: Ford, General Motors, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Unilever
  • Agencies: UM (an IPG Mediabrands company), Publicis Media
  • Publishers: NBC Universal
  • Ad Tech/Martech: Adobe, MediaMath, The Trade Desk

To develop those new standards, the Partnership will convene four working groups of industry stakeholders to shape different elements of the initiative: Business Practices; Technical Standards (which will continue the work of an IAB Tech Lab group launched in March); Privacy, Policy, and Legal Considerations; and Communications & Education. The working groups will engage participants from across the digital advertising ecosystem and around the world to develop consensus-based standards, technologies, and policies.

The Partnership will be led by the ANA’s Bill Tucker as Executive Director, ensuring the effort has a core focus on marketer needs. Tucker will continue to serve as Group EVP at the ANA, leading its Data, Technology, and Measurement Practices. In the past, he also held top positions at the 4A’s and Starcom Mediavest. Industry veteran Michael Donnelly will take a key role on the Partnership team, bringing experience from senior marketing roles at Mastercard, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.

In addition, Dennis Buchheim, President of IAB Tech Lab, will oversee the Partnership’s technical standards efforts, contributing his and his team’s extensive advertising product leadership experience, while Stu Ingis, Chairman of Venable LLP, will lead the Partnership’s legal and policy working group.

“In the ancient story of the Tower of Babel, the city collapsed because its inhabitants lost the ability to speak a common language,” said Tucker. “The digital advertising industry faces a comparable challenge around addressability today, as recent changes announced by operating systems, browsers, and other technologies, if implemented, will significantly impact the traditional marketplace language of cookies and mobile IDs. The Partnership was created to serve as a collaborative forum for our industry to ensure addressability standards that preserve privacy, provide a consistent and effective framework for advertisers, and enrich the consumer experience.”

The Partnership released a draft of initial principles that will guide its work. (The principles may be further modified with input from the working groups over time).

  1. Consumer privacy should remain a foundational pillar of the solution by providing consumers with meaningful transparency and controls, giving the marketplace the tools to understand consumer preferences and the ability to abide by those preferences.
  2. Consumers should have access to diverse and competitive content offerings, supported by their choices to engage with digital advertising in exchange for content and services.
  3. Business operations, including ad targeting, ad delivery, frequency capping, campaign management, analytics, cross-channel deployment, optimisation, and attribution should be sufficiently supported and improved upon through better technological and policy standards for all critical use cases.
  4. Solutions should be standardised and interoperable for consumers and businesses across browsers, devices, and platforms, subject to applicable privacy laws and guidelines and to the extent it is reasonably technically feasible, efficient, effective, and improved over existing technology.
  5. All browsers, devices, and platforms should allow equal access, free from unreasonable interference, to the new solutions.
  6. Companies that utilise the resulting solutions should follow industry and legal privacy standards, with strong accountability and enforcement for those that violate the standards.

“To succeed, next-generation standards for addressability with accountability will require broad support and adoption, which is why we are thrilled to take part in this cross-industry initiative,” said Dennis Buchheim, President of IAB Tech Lab. “Through ‘Project Rearc’, Tech Lab has been laying groundwork that will be helpful to the Partnership. We are excited to build on this work with even broader industry engagement, developing standards that protect both privacy and the ad-based business model that supports the digital economy.”


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