Ad ID is a 12 digit code to be attached to all advertising so that it can be tracked effectively. The system has been developed by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and has just been endorsed by the top four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) in the US, along with over 100 other large advertisers and trade groups.
Each piece of advertising will have a unique 12 digit ID and combined with RFID technology, will enable advertisers to track precisely how individual households have responded to advertising messages through their purchases. Is it just me, or is that really frightening? The introduction of Ad ID is being compared with the introduction of the UPC bar code 30 years ago – though coupling Ad ID with active technologies such as the internet and RFID chips make this a considerably more powerful tool.
Ad ID is not entirely new – it’s been in development since 2002. Tagging each advert with a unique identifier also allows metadata to be stored about the ad – such as geographic relevance and scheduling. The system is backed by a web portal so that advertisers can update campaign information and consult billing and scheduling details.