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AdsML Consortium defines deliverables for 2005, elects officers, reviews related standards

Press release from the issuing company

Darmstadt, 20 February, 2005 -- AdsML Consortium members met in Antwerp, Belgium, in early February to elect officers, approve AdsML Framework development plans for 2005, review liaison activities with other standards development groups and hear reports on pilot AdsML installation projects now underway. Elected officers for the AdsML Consortium’s 2005-2006 working year are: Chair – Harald Löffler, research manager for Ifra, a leading international association for newspaper and media publishing, Darmstadt, Germany; Vice Chair – John Iobst, a vice president of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), Vienna, Virginia, USA; and Treasurer – Jack Knadjian, manager, Strategic Business Development/Newspapers, Agfa-Gevaert, Antwerp, Belgium. In other actions, members approved the Technical Working Group’s 2005 standards-deliverables schedule, aiming at an October 2005 release date. Activities will center on adding capabilities to Framework specifications already approved or proposed. This will include work on these specifications: AdsML Envelope, AdsML Bookings, Structured Descriptions, Advertising Component Interactions and Content Delivery. Other content-related messages may be created as time and resources permit. New-development plans will focus on a standard for electronic invoicing. Expanded bookings standard will extend to online ad buys. “We have achieved a remarkable amount of work in a relatively short time, and now we need to examine and refine some of it,” says Löffler. “We will add new capabilities, but must also get our foundation more firmly set. It is likely that the initial standards for online advertising bookings will address the pressing needs of magazine and newspaper Web sites, but delay the inclusion of other online media.” Iobst commented that “It’s significant that representatives from several other interested groups joined us at our annual meeting to assess the direction we’re going in and see whether work that we’ve done can be incorporated into their plans and activities.” Iobst noted that representatives from IDEAlliance, a standards development organization, and JDF, authors of the CIP4 print production standard, brought their own interests and concerns to the table in Antwerp. “This signals,” said Iobst, “the importance of developing an international standard that is compatible with related standards and protocols, and vice versa.” The Consortium also is in conversations with software developer Adobe Systems Incorporated, representatives reported. Time Inc., a new AdsML strategic partner, is “excited to be a part of the AdsML Consortium and [we] look to aggressively push for adoption of an industry-standard booking format for magazine publishers,” says Erik Cullins, associate director, Digital Development. “The progress already made on the booking format, coupled [with] the reference implementations underway, is encouraging. With the global cooperation of other industry organizations, we hope to realize what many other markets have had for years — electronic transactions. Soon the error prone and time consuming process of buying and placing advertisements in a magazine will finally catch up to today's standards of e-commerce.” E-invoicing standard will close advertising workflow loop. “Developing specifications for the e-invoicing process will complete the cycle that began with the AdsML Bookings standard,” says Tony Stewart, director of consulting, RivCom Inc., New York, N.Y., and chair of the AdsML Technical Working Group. “An e-invoice will reflect the final information that was agreed upon prior to ad publication, including actual pricing. It may also include information on where the ad was published and references to a digital tearsheet.” The e-invoicing specification will accommodate processes on a daily, weekly, monthly or other basis, depending on agreements between buyer and publisher. However, the standard will not address invoice payment, as that is a contract issue and therefore outside the scope of these e-commerce standards. Looking towards the future, other financial e-commerce documents that are in development include e-statements and e-payments. The e-statement will provide the publishers current statement of account for the advertiser. The e-payment will provide the publisher with information about the invoices to be paid and when the payment will arrive or be available by EFT. The consortium is also looking at other e-commerce financial documents to determine how participants in the AdsML process might be able to use them.