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Ad Creative ID Framework (ACIF)

Last updated: June 11, 2024
Released for Public Comment!

Introducing the Ad Creative ID Framework (ACIF) v1.0, which defines a framework to enable a persistent identifier for ad creative at every phase in the video advertising supply chain. ACIF was released for public comment on June 11, 2024. The public comment period closed on July 12, 2024.

The public comment version of the framework can be downloaded below, and the finalized version based on the public comment period will be released in the coming weeks.

About the Ad Creative ID Framework (ACIF)

ACIF was developed by the IAB Tech Lab Advanced TV Commit Group to support advertisers and publishers deliver better consumer experience for video advertising on various devices including Connected Television (CTV). ACIF is designed to accomplish the following business requirements:

  • Frequency Capping and management
  • Competitive Separation for brands
  • Cross-Platform Campaign Measurement
  • Campaign Reconciliation across different mediums and providers
  • Improve Campaign ROI by mitigating spend waste and better campaign management

The key to enabling and improving the above business requirements is the ability to identify an ad creative across different platforms throughout the lifecycle of an advertising campaign. This capability is vital to reducing inefficiencies and increasing ROI on ad performance.

ACIF defines and outlines recommended practices to inject and retrieve the ad creative throughout the advertising supply chain and across multiple entities that support advertising delivery. The key component of ACIF is ad registration. Ad registration is the process of submitting the ad creative details with an ad registration authority and receiving a unique ID for the ad creative. The process is analogous to registering a Universal Product Code (UPC) for a product that sells in retail. Retailers depend on UPC barcodes to manage inventory. Likewise in video and CTV, a unique registered identifier for ad creative is needed to manage video inventory–especially as advertisers run the same campaign across multiple platforms, mediums and channels, for e.g. web browsers, mobile apps, CTV apps and Linear TV OR AVOD and FAST streaming services.

Why Ad Registration

Ad registration maintains information about the advertiser’s ad and enables automation for validating the ad’s ID and retrieving information about the ad, much like scanning a barcode provides information about a product sold in retail. Automation for retrieving ad details can plug into an ad platform’s decisioning process to streamline real-time ad placement, reduce costs, and produce accurate reports that simplify ad operations on both the sell and buy side of the supply chain.

Components of ACIF

This framework includes four components to support this goal:

  • Ad Registries
  • Standardized Use Of Registered IDs
  • Ad Registry Directory
  • Validation

The four components are outlined in more detail in ACIF v1.0.

List of Registries that Support ACIF

You can find details on the ad registries and JICs that offer ad registration and are working with IAB Tech Lab toward interoperability and automation for an improved video supply chain in the Tech Lab Tools Portal

VAST Addendum 2024

The VAST Addendum includes extensions that retrofit VAST versions 2.0 and 3.x with capabilities to use the <UniversalAdId> introduced in VAST 4.0 as a container for the ID generated in the ad registration process. This addendum makes the <UniversalAdId> node available in all versions of VAST. Visit the VAST Product Page to download a copy of the Addendum, which is in public comment until July 8, 2024.

Register your support

Companies with a workflow in place to support ACIF can use our Tools Portal self-attestation process for the Specification Adoption Program. While you’re at it, you can register your support for any other Tech Lab specification such as VAST and VAST CTV Addendum 2024, which is a component of ACIF.

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