Addressable media refers to advertising that connects brands with individual consumers across multiple online advertising platforms, social media, OTT (Over the Top) content providers, and smart TV platforms. To facilitate that one-to-one conversation, the marketer must first have direct access to the consumers.
The initiative aims to advance and protect critical functionalities like customization 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 organizations 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: NBCUniversal
- Ad Tech/Martech: Adobe, LiveRamp, 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, in announcing the Partnership. “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, optimization, and attribution should be sufficiently supported and improved upon through better technological and policy standards for all critical use cases.
4. Solutions should be standardized 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 utilize 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.”
Additional statements on the Partnership
Marla Kaplowitz, CEO, 4A’s, said: “Brands continue to shift significant portions of their marketing from broad-based communication to highly targeted efforts reflecting the ongoing advances of digital channels. Ensuring a relevant advertising experience requires the availability of data to provide the right marketing messages to the right consumers at the right time. It also addresses consumer preferences around issues like ad frequency to enhance the overall experience.”
Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers/ANA, said: “The ANA is dedicated to working with our PRAM partners to transform addressable advertising so marketers, agencies, and publishers can use data for advertising business-use cases. At the same time, one of our top priorities is to ensure that the consumer advertising experience is positive, relevant, and respects privacy. PRAM’s goal is to provide the tools and guidance needed to meet those challenges.”
Randall Rothenberg, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau, sais: “An open internet is critical to the recovery of a distressed American economy. It delivers indispensable free services to consumers, serves as a launchpad for innovation, and is a wellspring of jobs for the future. IAB will help bring the publishing community, adtech ecosystem, and brands together in collaboration to support PRAM and identify responsible, privacy-centric solutions to addressability.”
Leigh Freund, CEO, Network Advertising Initiative, said: “Consumers, publishers, advertisers, and technology companies share common objectives: robust, ad-supported digital content across the Internet, and respect for individual privacy. This will be a broad, collaborative effort to restore trust, establish technology standards to enhance consumer privacy, and preserve the ad-supported Internet.”
Stephan Loerke, CEO, World Federation of Advertisers, said: “We believe that it is crucial for the global advertising industry to work together and focus on using data in a positive way to create a better, more sustainable future for online advertising. This means improving the way we use data to reduce consumer annoyance and bombardment, preventing bad actors from profiting from digital advertising and creating the right conditions for a diverse and effective advertising ecosystem to thrive in all markets. We look forward to playing a leading role in driving this vision forward through the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media.”