Ad tech firm Mediaplex’s subsidiary AdWare will help automate the transfer of offline, national spot cable contracts using a technique created for online ad transactions, which it hopes will catch on in other media.
Through a deal announced Monday, spot cable rep firm National Cable Communications will use marketing information technology ASP AdWare’s SPOT tool, which manages broadcast and cable media buys.
SPOT allows agencies to import their national spot cable contracts directly into their buying system using adXML — a markup language developed by Mediaplex that allows contracts from several different cable systems to be entered automatically into an agency’s media buying system.
The problem that Mediaplex says adXML fixes with NCC is this: different cable systems use differing, proprietary systems to transact electronic ad sales with agencies and media buyers, and special programs are needed to translate and integrate contracts from these different systems into a single media buyer’s system.
San Francisco-based Mediaplex says its adXML language, which it developed to simplify and ultimately automate online ad transactions, supplants the need for these translation programs, which are costly and time-intensive to create and use.
“The use of adXML to automate media buying for national spot cable advertising is particularly advantageous given the high volume of transactions involved with a multi-market multi-system buy, especially since most cable systems are inserting on more than 20 networks these days,” said Robin Kroopnick, vice president for corporate services and advanced media systems for NCC.
In this way, adXML stands in contrast to the Electronic Data Interchange system, widely used in electronic ad transactions. EDS requires those special programs to automatically integrate disparate orders into buying systems.
“The debut of adXML introduces a tremendous asset to offline campaign management,” said AdWare president Donald Fitzpatrick. “The result for our customers will be increased accuracy, better tracking, and a streamlined, more cost-efficient process overall.”
To boost adXML’s adoption as an information transmission standard for the media buying industry, Mediaplex has enlisted over the past year more than 140 traditional, online and emerging media agencies, tech firms and buyers in an industry advocacy group, adXML.org. While reducing transaction costs and time, adXML’s proliferation benefits Mediaplex, since the firm’s main product, its MOJO software, has media buying applications.
Through Louisville-based AdWare, which Mediaplex acquired from the Interpublic Group in July, the developer of adXML also works to expand for the language as an open standard not just for online — the initial target for adXML 1.0 — but offline media.
“Our goal throughout the acquisition of AdWare and the development of adXML has been the creation and delivery of integrated technology solutions to automate and revolutionize the advertising industry, both on- and offline,” said Mediaplex chairman and chief executive Gregory Raifman. “This first application of adXML in the offline community is an important milestone in this endeavor.”
Monday’s deal launches adXML into the offline world with a fairly high-profile partner: NCC, is jointly owned by cable giants AT&T Media Services, Comcast Cable Communications, Cox Communications, Katz Media Group and Time Warner Cable, represents more than 60 percent of local cable systems, and handles clients reaching more than 56 million cable households domestically.