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AdsML Bookings Specification Released for Public Review

Press release from the issuing company

Amsterdam, 13 October 2004 -- The first process-specific standard in the AdsML Framework’s suite of standards was released here today for public review and comment. The AdsML Bookings Specification, which is complete for the industry’s print media, enables advertisers and publishers to query, make and confirm ad space reservations for ads appearing in newspapers and magazines. Working towards an all-digital future. By implementing the AdsML Booking Specification, advertisers, publishers and others involved in the booking process will be able to request and receive quotations, make and confirm reservations, and change and cancel orders. Bookings and content can be linked, which will increase accuracy. The information necessary to place and produce an ad — including information on placed-by, insertion period, advertiser, booking party, publication, price and production details — can be nested in the AdsML Framework, sent electronically and read by the receiving party. All this will happen automatically, without high levels of human intervention or increased risk of human error. “This is a tremendous step toward re-inventing the advertising industry as an essentially paperless business, where every advertising sales staff is free to sell, and the vital but repetitive operational tasks can be managed through a sophisticated all-digital workflow,” says Allan Marshall, Chief Operations & Technology Director of Associated Newspapers, Ltd., London, U.K. “The greater efficiency and increased accuracy produced will have significant benefits for both advertisers and publishers that ultimately will show up on the bottom line.” In Darmstadt, Germany, Reiner Mittelbach, CEO of Ifra, which is a co-sponsor of the AdsML Consortium, adds, “It can fairly be said that business today is electronically managed, but the advertising industry, until now, has lagged behind many others in implementing globally-recognized systems that make the most of this fact. The AdsML Bookings Specification, operating within the AdsML Framework, changes that and opens up new opportunities for everyone.” Bookings standard receives wide support. Development of the AdsML Bookings Specification has not been solely a matter of technical design. Support for the AdsML effort was sought from owners of existing standards and formats that address similar businesses processes. In meetings with other standards groups and organizations, AdsML leaders elicited support from them and have embarked on a series of cooperative efforts. “AdsML enjoys wide support not only from publishers, but also from major systems vendors, advertisers and industry associations,” says Tony Stewart, director of consulting for RivCom, Swindon, U.K., and chair of the AdsML Technical Working Group. “The Bookings Specification already replaces CREST, a North American standard for classified advertising owned by the NAA [Newspaper Association of America]. NAA agreed to cease future development of that standard and support the AdsML standards effort instead.” NAA, based in Vienna, Va., U.S.A., is the other co-sponsor of the AdsML Consortium. In addition, NAA and the International Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEAlliance), Alexandria, Va., U.S.A., have agreed to merge the capabilities of the SpaceXML Standard for display advertising — owned by the two organizations — with AdsML standards-writing efforts. Likewise, Ifra will fold AdConnexion, a European standard, into the AdsML Framework. Other standards developers have agreed to work cooperatively. Pilot projects utilizing the AdsML Framework and AdsML Bookings Specification have already begun in Finland, led by Kärkimedia Oy, a media sales agency owned by 33 Finnish newspapers and, in the U.K., by Associated Newspapers Limited, which has pilots for electronic ad bookings and for ad content delivery. In addition, Agfa announced that their Ad Manager product will soon be AdsML compliant. "It's time that publishers were relieved of some of the cost and pain of systems integration," says Agfa's Strategic Business Development Manager/Newspapers Jack Knadjian, Antwerp, Belgium. "With an open standard like AdsML, we can all save time and money when implementing system solutions." Standard enters public review, comment period. The AdsML Bookings Specification, which was a year in development, was approved for release on October 9 by the AdsML Consortium, meeting here in plenary session. Formal public release occurred today at a special session on the AdsML Framework at IfraExpo, an international trade exhibition for newspaper companies and their partners produced annually by Ifra, a leading international association for newspaper and media publishing. The AdsML Bookings Specification is available for download at the AdsML Web site: www.adsml.org/resources. Development is continuing on the bookings standard for online, SMS, MMS and radio and television, which will be released at a later date.