Interview: Harold Geller, SVP of Cross-Industry Workflow at the 4A's and Managing Director of the Ad-ID Project

[itvt]'s Tracy Swedlow recently interviewed HAROLD GELLER, SVP of cross-industry workflow at the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and managing director of the Ad-ID project. The latter is a joint venture between the 4A's and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) which promotes an advertising industry-standard unique identifier for all commercial assets. An audio recording and an unedited transcript of the interview are below.

Among other things, Geller explains why there is a need for standardization in today's multiplatform advertising ecosystem; discusses the goals of the Ad-ID project; outlines the work it has done to date; and identifies some of the challenges it faces going forward.

Tracy Swedlow, Editor-in-Chief, Interactive TV Today (ITVT)
Harold Geller, SVP Cross-Industry Workflow, 4As

Welcome to the show, Harold!

Thank you, Tracy!

Well, so much is going on in the world of advertising.  And you are definitely in the nexus of that.  I don't know if you'd say that, but I know that you are working very hard to improve many aspects of advertising.

Can you tell us a little bit first about the organization that you work for?


The 4As.  Then what your role is at this organization, please.


I'm senior vice-president of cross-industry workflow for the 4As.  We'll talk about cross-industry workflow in a minute.  But I'm also managing director of Ad-ID, which is a joint-venture of the 4As and the ANA.

When it comes to things like workflow and managing best-practices in the industry, really the 4As and ANA work arm-in-arm.  So my role really is to look at both the supply chain -- all of the partners in the supply chain and how we interact with each other; how we develop best practices with each other to benefit the entire supply chain, and, ultimately, to benefit the advertiser.

In both of my roles, the 4As being the American Association of Advertising Agencies -- so, most US ad agencies are members of the 4As.  We do all kinds of things like advocacy and looking at building community relating to best practices in all areas.

But when it comes to workflow, it's really the 4As and ANA working together.  The end result of that is the Ad-ID, which is the asset-identification standard for advertising across all platforms.  So it's advertising identification and description - equivalent to the UPC code and its descriptive information for the advertising industry.

We're going to go into that in more depth in a few minutes.  But before we do, I want to understand why -- and this might be obvious to many people who are listening, or it might not…  But why are there so many problems in the supply-chain now for digital advertising?  What issues are creating the bottlenecks?  Where are we not able to cross over from this platform to that platform?

Is it in measurement?  Tracking?  Is it the asset-identification that's not in place yet?  What are the various problems that you're trying to solve?

Can I say, "All of the above," are the problems?



We have a very complex ecosystem.  Especially in online video, over-the-top video, mobile video.  And it really begins with the fact that we don't have good foundational standards or foundational practices that are universally adapted.

We have a real problem in the industry with looking at standardization mainly because we're a creative industry.  Creative industries feel that standards constrain creativity.

So we spend a lot of our time looking at what's included in the works - certain amounts of process.  Part of the problem in the industry is that the process is not standardized.

Part of what I do and advocate for and am writing extensively about and speaking about is that we can standardize process and advocate best practices, without constraining or constricting creativity.

It's just very difficult to convince an industry that's used to doing things in an unconstrained manner.  It's hard to rein them in and advocate best practices.

But everyone wants to own the relationship with the advertiser, and/or the entity.  Then they want to own the relationship with the viewer, who sees that advertising.  

I think you've got not only the [need for] standards [creating a] big bottleneck, perhaps -- or a challenge -- but you've got the business relationship and the political relationship.  Would you agree?

I would.

However, I believe we're really getting to…  And part of that, absolutely, it is part of the issue.  I believe that agencies are reshaping themselves to perform the role of the middleman effectively.  So, that the relationship with the advertiser and the consumer is becoming a lot more guarded, but in a positive way.

I believe that's beginning to find its way to resolution because there is so much innovation.  There are so many vendors in the space doing so many great things; it's difficult for an advertiser to figure out what's going to get traction.

I remember at your [TVOT] forum in San Francisco, we had a long conversation about, "Will we ever see a lot of ITV go critical-mass?"  Or, "Will there be mass-market?"

We've come to the conclusion that a lot of this stuff is going to be narrow-cast.  And we live in a world of narrow-casting.  Niche markets.

But we've gotten away from the generalists.  We've got a lot of specialists practices building up in the agencies.

So yes, there is a big challenge in getting to the advertiser and to the consumer; however, I believe we're starting to be less constrained by the middleman and more enabled by the middleman.  And enabled by innovation coming from the middleman, as well -- bringing best practices to advertisers and consumers.

Well, the Cable Data Information Act protects the viewer from having their viewing habits - and how they watch advertising and things like that - from being shared publicly.  The cable industry protects those relationships, as I was alluding to before.

As you were saying, many niche companies are -- to some extent -- doing the same.  They want to have some kind of value to be able to sell to their customers - whether it's the tracking and the measurement of that data; how people are watching and handling the secondary device while they're watching a television set; which ads they're clicking on; when they're disappearing from a show, and experiencing the ad.

There's all of that information about what people are choosing to do that's definitely not being shared.  So how do you solve that problem of delivering an advertising campaign, getting measurements and tracking across all of these platforms, but still protect peoples' privacy, and then additionally, still protect peoples' business opportunity?  What can you do?

That's a great question, Tracy.  It's so fascinating to me that this is the same conversation.  This is a conversation that's going to take place over and over again whether we're talking about banner advertising, online video, over-the-top, all across mobility. It's all about privacy.  I believe there'll be a consolidation of legislation around disclosure.  If you take a look at the banner about ads' disclosure program that's going on (there's going to be a whole conversation about informed disclosure or informed choice) and it's going to be across all platforms. So it's going to be more of…  The consumer is going to be in control.  Privacy is all about how you collect data, how you share it, whom you share it with, and how you disclose it.

If you follow those principles, and you give the consumer the ability to be in the center of it…

My best example is, if I'm given the ability to go into a preferences engine that controls my identity for multiple platforms and start to talk about the things that I plan to do in the next six to eight months or whatever, and I'm served up ads that serve my needs…then that becomes the focal point of the advertisers' presences and it becomes a much more significant return on investment.

But you're still talking about choice.  Opting in.  Advertising is based on scale, correct?  Do you think advertising will eventually have greater value if it delivers it to somebody who's interested?  That's always been the holy grail to the advertising industry.  It's about having that one-on-one relationship.  That's the higher value. But we always still hear people talking about, "Well, I'm not advertising on this new platform until it has scale."  "I'm not doing this-or-that until I have multiple millions of people being able to see my stuff."

I feel like there's still this massive transition going on from traditional broadcast [(i.e.] single-to-many delivery of advertising.  Those people are still resisting the multiple-platform niche marketing and niche delivery higher value per interested viewer.  You know what I'm talking about.

I do.

And we are going to see a transition.  You look at some great initiatives.  Things like what Backchannel Media is doing in linear television.  All of the interactivity, addressability….

The valuable eyeball isn't… There will always be a place for mass market.  But the availability of targeted…

I'm still having a hard time using the term, "niche."  I use the term, "Narrowcast."


There is a certain amount of scale that is required.  But I think that bar is getting lower and lower because you're seeing much more compelling content that is in the long tail.  

So I believe you're going to see a lot more content plays across smaller platforms or maybe smaller markets or smaller samples because that's where the consumer is going.  Mass media is always going to have a place; however, mass media is becoming increasingly more fragmented.  

I was listening to a podcast last week, talking about cord shaving and cord cutting.  Cord cutting is not a phenomenon that is happening in mass markets.  However, cord shaving is happening.

People are dropping premium services because they're going to more long-tail capabilities.  They're doing things over the top or they're going to online video or other platforms. So I believe we're in a transitional stage: we are going to have a different definition of scale.

So we have the issue of scale, which is happening but still in massive transition, but it's happening.

People are clearly advertising on secondary devices than connected TV.  Still working with traditional, big network operators and so on and so forth, and linear television.

But the industry workflow and improving the supply-chain -- the efficiency of the supply-chain -- also has the massive challenge of dealing with interactive advertising.  Advertising that takes on the challenge of encouraging the viewer to click on it and to add information into it.  To say, "I want to order this object," as a test item.  As an RFI, perhaps - a request for information.

Yes.  The advertisements that we've seen on cable, and now of course you see it all throughout the online world where you have clickable video stuff.

What does the 4As…and what do you think about the challenges ahead of you, as far as creating efficiency in the supply-chain, where you have many new interactive ad formats? There are so many of them.  And new ways of interacting with that, itself.  What do you think about that?

Well, I believe that all of the innovation that's going on in the industry has to…

We have to get to a point where foundationally everybody has standardized ways of doing things.  So, the great example is in the cable world.  Interactivity happens through a platform called EBIF.  

If we have an equivalent of EBIF that is a very open standard that allows lots and lots of different interactions, then you can start to measure and monetize.

The thing I look at it is, if you can’t identify something, you can't operationalize it, measure it or aggregate it.  So we have lots of innovation going on, and it's freeform innovation that becomes very difficult.

So going back to our earlier conversation of the long tail, and targeted opportunities, there have to be some foundational capabilities.  Whether it's identification or whether it's naming.  Whether it's workflow or other things that allow measurement and operationalization of it.

That's what's important.  That's how this stuff will get to the scale that's appropriate.

Are you talking about Ad-ID?  Asset identification?

I'm talking about assets.  Assets aren't just advertising assets.  

When we're talking about assets, we're talking about programs, long-form programs and the ads inside of them.  It's just as important to know if you're going to be advertising inside of a long-form property, then you want to be able to identify that long-form property, and then you want to identify the ads that are inside of it.  

Asset-identification is a larger practice. In that practice are multiple asset-identification methodologies. Certainly, Ad-ID is the one for advertising.  It's not just a code: it's a code plus descriptive information that allows smooth asset workflows.

But the same thing happens in long-form content, and the entertainment industry has their identifier called EIDR, which identifies programming content.  So as we move to this world of identification…

I listened to your interview last week with Jane Clarke.  She talked about the TAXI initiative that the CIMM organization put together and that really laid the groundwork for what asset-identification was important to advertisers and the supply-chain relating to asset-identification.

Well, I talked with her about the idea of, "Can you put some kind of code…"  I think she'd called it like a UPC code, but something at the head of these assets with metadata.

Isn't there really some kind of descriptive piece of metadata that you would associate with an image file?  If you were a very good Photoshop designer, you have to associate everything you're doing with little pieces of metadata.  Or maybe you don't.  I am not myself.

But I don't know how much description is required.  Or is this something that could be coded?  Is it something that is in machine code?  I mean how complex does this metadata get and what is it describing?

When I talk about metadata in the advertising industry, I'm really talking about identification and description.  Because the most important thing that gets put inside of an asset…

One of the things that CIMM talked about…  CIMM has these six attributes that need to be in an asset-identification methodology.  One of those attributes is called “Inextricably Bound.”

When you inextricably bind identification to an asset, as you said, you stick it inside that asset.  All you really need is the identifier or a key, because then you have sort of standard practices that say, "Well, if I know the number, I can get at any other information about it by looking it up."

Well, what would be in this key?  Or what would be in the identifier?  Like 0965A2#? Is it something like that, and then you open a key and you say, "Well, the # sign means this, and…"  I mean, how does it work?

In actual fact, and this will evolve over the next few years, but in today's world for an ad, when we're talking about "inextricably binding" an identifier inside the asset, it's a human-readable 12-character code.

So the Ad-ID code is 12 characters long and once you know those 12 characters, it's sort of a pair.  So the identifier type is an Ad-ID, and here is the value.  

Once you know it's an Ad-ID, you're then using standard workflow practices.  So you say, "Okay.  So it's an Ad-ID."  Then I've got a 12-character code.  I can go look at the Ad-ID database to say, "Who's the advertiser?  Who's the product?  What's the title of it?  What kind of commercial is this?"  Then I can build intelligence around that.

So, an advertiser might turn around and say, firstly for measurement purposes, "Well, when I see that identifier and I detect it, I can go and say, 'Oh.  I've got a commercial inside of that program,' for this advertiser!"  

It ends up becoming like a Rosetta Stone.  Saying, "I have all of this information and I can process it and analyze it, and match it up with audience data.  I can match it up with consumer-purchase data.  Match it up with interactivity."

So when I know that I've got an ad identified with the 12-character code, and there is a call-to-action, whether it's through EBIF or through some other methodology, as long as I associate that call-to-action with the ad, I know how to associate that information together.

It is exactly very much like a Rubik's Cube that you can start to associate various pieces of information together as long as you have a core.

But what has to be done in order to enable this to be accepted by everybody in the industry?

I believe we have to start to demonstrate the work efficiencies, the workflow benefits, and the supply-chain benefits.  We have to get some good case-histories out there.

Ad-ID, CIMM and EIDR are in the middle of doing some case histories. By the end of this year early next year, we will have some very good documented case histories that are end-to-end workflows.  Then, we can take to those to the industry as best practice and say, "These are the benefits of all of this."  We get to really document the benefits in a very succinct manner.

It's the same thing as what happened in the packaged-goods supply-chain. It took 10 years for UPC to become an industry standard.  And it was by proving the value, and by major manufacturers adopting it.

So this is what's happening today.  Ad-ID today is being used by over 700 advertisers.  We know that in the market of advertisers who are involved in a big way in online video over the top, there are about 1,800 advertisers that…  I don't want to use the term, "Matter," but…  1,800 advertisers that are the trend-setters.

So we need to grow the 700 to 1,800.  And, in fact, we've grown Ad-ID from less than 100 four years ago to over 700 today.  So we continue to grow the business, and we continue to grow the user base.  And the continued growth of that user base is going to be based on very good, tight use-cases.  But as I said, all of the categories I've talked about -- in operations -- in research -- in aggregation.

And we know that an advertising asset -- and I'm going to use the best example that we've been talking about here -- what I call "televisual" ads or video ads.  Video ads are consumed whether they're in linear media, on-demand on cable, on-demand online, on-demand over-the-top, mobile.  The same ads could be used on all those platforms.  If you uniquely identify it, you can then start to look at that ad across all of the platforms.  Then you start to develop the methodologies -- whether you could use the embedded metadata and use a transmission sub-carrier to get it, or whether you have to associate that identifier with a watermark.  As long as the identifier is in there, you have the keys to all of the information that are tied to that.

Those are the use cases and the case histories that we're building and working on right now.

Speaking of watermarking…ACR, or automatic counter recognition is emerging to be a very interesting technology.  A lot of broadcasters and advertisers are certainly experimenting with it - maybe even the network operators.

But how does this work in an environment where your secondary device needs to recognize an ad where it might … There might be water-marking or fingerprinting or…  It's got to trigger that secondary device.

So maybe it's through audio?


The ACR watermark is used for so many different things.  It can not only be used for just the devices recognizing them, but it could also be used for ad-verification.  It could be used for dynamic insertion.  

So really, the watermark is being used to trigger the second consumer device whether it's the tablet or a PC or a PDA or whatever.  That same water-mark can be used for multiple purposes.

But Ad-ID -- will it embrace the idea of audio recognition?

Ad-ID is agnostic to the delivery mechanism.  As far as we're concerned.  There will be multiple solutions in the marketplace.

There may be some places where you've got video watermarking that are going to be successful.  You may have situations where a watermark isn't feasible or practical and you may decide to use a fingerprint.  As long as those things are associated back to a unique identifier, and that unique identifier has the common descriptive information behind it.

So again, I use the term as an example of both Ad-ID and EIDR.  As long as we understand that those are the accepted methodologies and the accepted identification schema, what you use to present it --

As long as we can work with it and as long as there are research vendors who can use it on the other end.

A lot of this is about trying to build open ecosystems.  We know today we've got many closed silos where you've got somebody's water-mark who can only deal in their infrastructure.  Or somebody's fingerprint that can only deal with their infrastructure. We need to move to more open architectures.  The only way we're going o do that is by starting to embrace foundational practices like asset-identification and descriptions.  And have the consumer -- whether it's the consumer being the advertiser, or the end-consumer -- having a benefit from it.

What is preventing the other 700 or 800 agencies from embrasing this?  I don't mean to seem negative, but  I'm trying to find out where is the resistance?  It seems like even though it's a good idea…So, why wouldn’t they?

And it's absolutely not a negative, and thank you for bringing it up.

In our industry, up until 2002, our industry didn't really have a standard for asset-identification.  So agencies knew that they have to identify the work that they do.

So there are lots of agencies out there who've built proprietary solutions.  And, they're saying, "We are ready, willing and able to embrace an industry solution."  But we've spent a lot of money on this proprietary solution, so you'd better give us some very compelling cases to make this change that we can bring to our advertisers.

Because there is a cost to Ad-ID and to EIDR, which may seem insignificant to some people.  But any cost is significant in this world of trying to do more with the same or less.

So it's getting some of those proprietary systems out of the mix.  And that will happen.  We've got assurances that those things will happen with compelling case histories.

Well, obviously then my next question is, "What is the cost?"  Is it just cost in educating your producers and developers and the Photoshop guys?  I mean what's the cost? Or is there some kind of membership that you need to buy into in order to be part of the group that puts this in place?

Right. Ad-ID is a joint-venture of the 4As and the ANA.  So by being a member of the 4As or ANA, that really isn’t the cost of entry of Ad-ID. Ad-ID is a single-user-pay model.  If you're the small advertiser is producing 10 ads, there's a per-unit cost.  For a large advertiser, the maximum that they'll pay on an annual basis for Ad-ID is $10,000.  Across all of their advertising.

Our price rate card goes anywhere from $500 for a really small advertiser per a 12-month period all the way up to $10,000.  So they're not significant amounts of money.  However, to some, it's significant enough that there needs to be a compelling case for it.

There is a financial cost, and that financial cost has to be justified in either offset in hard savings or in efficiency savings.  Or in increased or improved measurement, reduced timelines.  All of these things.

There are lots of conversations.  I speak to broadcast outlets and to some of the online video providers and the over-the-top providers and they talk about the value of metadata.  And they're ready to participate in some of these best-practices and some of these case histories. It's a matter now of getting the case histories in the field, and then documented.

Our first white paper has been put out.  It talks about linear television.  It's called, "The Life of a Commercial."  It talks about the inefficiency in today's commercial-production world.  We're trying to do a lot more with that, where there's going to be a series of blog posts that I'm going to write, called, "The Supply-Chain Series."

Then there will be some real-life cases that we'll bring to the industry.

If you could do some cartoons, that might be fun.

Not a bad idea!  I like that!

Like a little mini-storyline - you could insert a commercial inside.  It would be kind of like an animated cartoon strip. I don't know.  That just floated across my brain.

I'm also curious.  You really haven't mentioned the IAB.  The Interactive Advertising Bureau.  I know we mentioned -- you and I -- just shortly before, their Impression-Exchange Solution.

I think that's an initiative to also try to solve the inconsistencies that exist between different systems that measure impressions.  So that's probably just banner advertising. But are they at all playing a part?

I know that you do have a relationship with them, and Ad-ID might be part of this.  But can you help me clarify how they're involved, please?

Let's talk about IAB in two different ways.  You're absolutely correct, the Impression-Exchange Solution is relating to banner advertising.  However, it provides a foundation for lots of other measurement things.

When you talk about banner advertising and the identification and description of banner advertising, and the counting issues that go on between demand-side servers and publisher-side servers and all that, and trying to reconcile those things, that's what really Impression-Exchange is about.  It's reconciling all of the impression counts.

However, when you talk about the IAB on the video side, they've got this thing called the Video-ad Serving Template.  That really sets up the standards for how video ads are served, described and processed.

Ad-ID, the 4As and ANA work very closely with the IAB on the video-ad serving template, to be sure that we are building the best practices out there.

So the Impression Exchange, though it's mostly for banner advertising, could very easily form the foundation.  

The focus or the center of the Impression Exchange is a unique identifier.  What we announced a while back was that we were going to move in the direction of finding the various ways of integrating Ad-ID into the interactive supply-chain in both banners and video.

Then, when the agency, the ad server, the media and all of the third-party vendors are calling the ads the same thing, that is when you start to see huge amounts of value to those ads.

What about measurement?  Is that part of…Are you trying to standardize the technology for measurement, as well?  Or are you staying out of that?

Well, Ad-ID is staying out of the technology for measurement.  The 4As, ANA and IAB have an initiative called, "Making Measurement Make Sense."  It talks about the viewable impressions.  And viewable impressions becoming the counting standard.

Certainly, the Media Ratings Council is a great venue for vetting those kinds of standards.

So there are a lot of foundational things, like the 4As and ANA are doing.  The Media Ratings Council.  CIMM.  All of these things are really not disparate initiatives.  They all are pieces of a puzzle that we've needed for a long time, and it's starting to come together.

People in our industry -- the multiplatform ITV industry -- are always saying that they definitely would love more advertisers, more agencies, to participate because there are too few of those organizations or agencies and brands out there who really understand what's going on in the emerging world of interactive TV and advertising.

So do you think there's some kind of cultural change going on?  Do you think that's why all of this is happening?  Maybe I'm feeding you your answer. But is that why?  Is there finally a ground floor of interest in the standardization process because these other agencies want to be more proactive and more creative, more complex with their advertising?  They want to participate and do something different?

I know for a long time, the agencies didn't want to explore interactive TV advertising, because they weren't being paid for that.  They were being paid for the traditional 30-second slots.  And anything else they did was sort of, "Hi.  Let's give it to you for free and try it out."

Maybe that's a simplification, but do you think there's a cultural shift going on?

The cultural shift that's happening isn't just on the agency side.  The cultural shift is happening both on the vendor side, as well.

We need to keep this going, and we need to keep the conversation going that says, "If we make…" If advertisers and agencies take a look - one of my favorite charts that's sitting on my wall is Terry Kawaja's LUMA charts.

Let me talk to you about that.  What is that about?

Terry Kawaja's LUMA charts really talk about all of the elements of the supply-chain.  If your listeners haven't seen them, I believe it's at  It really identifies all of the different elements in the processing of online ads. He does one for online banners, one for video, for some of the other things.  I believe that draws attention to the fact that perhaps the supply-chain is overly complex.

If we simplify the supply-chain, then we allow for capability. One of the things that we were going to talk about was the ANA's Marketers' Constitution.  Item 5 on that constitution says “We have to do a better job of managing our supply-chain.”

Item 6 on that constitution is “We need to become more capable.”

And there's cause-and-effect.  So if we do a good job of managing our supply-chain, we will become more capable.  It will be enabled to become more capable.

Supply-chain management is all about simplification.  So, why I love those charts so much is because it shows how complex it is today, and how we need to simplify what we do, to be able to compare, to create the comparisons of apples-to-apples, rather than apples-to-strawberries.

Wow.  I'll have to get those to put on the seats.

I've just noticed we've spoken for almost an hour, Harold.  We could speak forever.  I had many more questions.  But, I'm wondering what else we haven't covered?  Let's see…

Creativity.  Are the design firms involved in this?  The agencies often work with outside design firms - are they clued into this?  Are they part of this?  Have you spoken to the design firms? Or they don't care?  They just want the identifier?  There's nothing that they have to do creatively?

Well, the whole supply-chain -- whether we're talking about the creative agency or the media agency or specialized design boutiques, everybody has a role in this. Really, the creative agency or the design agency has a very important role because they're creating the assets.  And they have a role in making sure that the asset is properly identified. The media agency goes in and says when they place these ads, they need to refer back to that identification.  So you've got this area called "transactional workflow" and "asset-related workflow." They meet in the middle, in instructional data.  So you're instructing a media outlet how to place those assets.

So, really, everybody is involved.  We do a very important role in Ad-ID of what we call "triangulation."  We get media agencies, creative agencies and the advertiser, and sometimes, vendors on the phone. And we get people talking to each other.  They all talk to each other.  But, people who don't necessarily talk to each other in various departments, speaking to each other and understanding the value of this.  So, there's absolutely a role for everybody.

And one thing that we didn't talk about, which I mentioned in the Jane Clarke interview was the metadata that surrounds an asset – but as it moves perhaps through digital networks -  is it an intelligent piece of code?  Perhaps that's the wrong word. But when it travels through networks, does it know where to go?  Or does it change as it goes through certain experiences on certain platforms, where an ad perhaps presents interactivity? Is it a dynamic identifier?  Are we there yet?  Or should it be in the future a dynamic piece of code?

Right.  So, change that conversation slightly and say that if the identifier follows the asset through its lifecycle, the layers of metadata are abstracted.

Then you get into the world of public metadata, which lives in the central repository.  And private metadata, which might be in the database of a media outlet or a vendor.  This happens all the time.

So, if you append more and more information to the identifier in your own databases that says, "This is's iteration of Ad-ID 12 characters."  Now I have more information, more metadata to reach out to.  To say I can report on and aggregate and measure all of this.

So absolutely, that's part of the plan.  And there's a global initiative called the "Embedded Metadata Initiative," which talks about all of this - the abstraction layers of metadata, how valuable embedded metadata is.  And then, how you can utilize it.

Well, as that asset travels, like you said, through its lifecycle -- somebody down the supply-chain might want to know what happened two steps up the road.  You have to make all of these rules, technologically through the standards, that would allow them to know or not to know.  And I guess all of the abstraction layers…  It's so complex. It's going to be a big job.

Tracy, what's interesting is, it seems difficult.  But actually, it's very simple if you strip away all of the legacy of our existing practices and this will happen, bit-by-bit.  We'll start to see the benefits of unique identification of assets in operations.  We already see that in broadcast outlets.  In the broadcast world where you've got cable networks, local television stations and networks managed out of the same operation facilities, they are yearning for unique identifiers coming from further up the supply-chain and that will drive other vertical platforms.

Well, I am going to stop here because this is one of the longest interviews we've ever done, and I've enjoyed it.  But, we have so much more to cover, and I hope you will follow up with us at our event coming up in New York.

I look forward to it.

Ok! Thank you very much, Harold.

You're very welcome.

You can find Harold [Geller] at the 4As, which is  He is the SVP of Digital Initiatives.  Is that your current title?

SVP Cross-Industry Workflow.

Cross-Industry Workflow.  That's right.  You said that at the beginning.  You're also managing director of Ad-ID.

Ok, great!  All right.  We will see you very soon, and hear more about this where people can discuss in greater depths and in person at the TV of Tomorrow Show coming up December 5th in New York City.

Thanks again, Harold!

This is Tracy Swedlow, Editor-in-Chief of Interactive TV Today.  We're at  You can find our conference at

Stay tuned for more information on our Web site about the event.  Thanks for listening!


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