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Background - The AdsML Consortium

The AdsML Consortium e.V. was founded in 2003 and dissolved in 2012. During its nine years of its existence more than 70 organizations made intellectual and financial contributions to the Consortium that enabled the development of the Framework.

The AdsML initiative was first proposed by Alan Marshal (Associated Newspapers) and Christian Ratenburg (CCI Europe) during IfraExpo in Barcelona 2002. The idea was to create a single, unifying, truly global standard for the exchange of advertisement orders between booking systems. At the time, competing efforts were being conducted in Europe (Ifra AdConnexion) and the US (Crest, SpaceXML, and others), and the idea was to embrace and unify them all.

The initiative was soon backed by major players including Ifra, now part of WAN-IFRA (the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers), and the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), as well as major vendors of newspaper IT systems. This led  to the establishment of the AdsML Consortium e.V in 2003.

For almost ten years the Consortium’s Technical Working Group developed a range of specifications for XML based e-commerce messages. The initial focus was on supporting orders and materials workflows for print media, but these specifications were later expanded to cover interactive (i.e. online/web) and broadcast media, as well other workflows in the media supply chain.

The last major release was version 3.5, R2 in June 2010. It was followed by a maintenance release (Release 3) in May 2011, after which the Technical WG went into “maintenance mode,” effectively having fulfilled all the objectives set out for it ten years earlier.

In early 2012 the Consortium membership voted to dismantle the rather heavy organizational structure of the AdsML Consortium and convert it into something more lightweight that could continue to support users and organize eventual further upgrades. It was decided to go the Open Source route, which led to the foundation of the AdsML Framework Special Interest Group in early 2013.

Key individuals

Support and funding from Ifra, the NAA and all the members was, of course, the necessary base for the consortium’s work. In addition,  a group of AdsML “Sponsors” — notably Associated Newspapers, PubliGroup, Time Inc. and News International — provided substantial additional funding to keep the project moving. But the AdsML initiative would never have been so successful without the contributions of all the talented people who from time to time served in the Technical Working Group and other AdsML committees.

Harald Löffler (Ifra) and John Iobst (NAA) alternated in the position of Chairman of the consortium, taking turns every other year. Iobst also participated actively in the Technical WG throughout the project.

The Consortium decided to maintain momentum by complementing personnel resources provided by member organizations with hired consultants who had expertise in XML based advertising e-commerce and requirements analysis. Tony Stewart (TWG Chairman) and Jay Cousins, both from RivCom, and Ulf Wingstedt from CNet Svenska AB were the primary authors of most of the documents and XML Schema specifications.

Other individuals who made major contributions, including deep domain knowledge, spanning multiple years of development were (in no particular order):

  • Joe Kirk (Associated Newspapers and K Media Consulting)
  • Christian Rohrbach (PubliGroup/Xentive)
  • Matthew Leete (Associated Newspapers)
  • Marcel Dumont (Rosetta)
  • Howard Robson (5fifteen)
  • Alan Leverenz (AP)
  • Beat Doerr (PubliGroup/Xentive)
  • Mark Kondrad (magSend)
  • Israel Viente (Vio)

Each released document includes a detailed list of contributors.


Contributing organizations:

  • [frevel & fey] Software GmbH
  • 5 Fifteen Ltd.
  • ABB
  • Accent Plus Ltd.
  • Accord Holdings Ltd.
  • adbrixx GmbH
  • Adf@st
  • AdStar, Inc.
  • Agfa-Gevaert NV
  • alfa Media Partner
  • Anygraaf Oy
  • Artwork Systems (Enfocus)
  • Associated Newspapers
  • The Associated Press
  • Atex
  • CCI Europe A/S
  • CNet Svenska AB
  • CNI Corporation
  • Datox (later Wedia)
  • Digital Technology International
  • Globe and Mail
  • Guardian Newspapers Ltd.
  • ICS Integrated Colour Solutions Inc.
  • IDEAlliance
  • IFRA
  • Independent News & Media Ltd.
  • IPA Systems Ltd
  • ISV GmbH
  • Kärkimedia
  • K Media Consulting
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Mactive
  • magSend
  • Managing Editor Inc.
  • Media24
  • MediaTel Group
  • MGN (Mirror Group)
  • Multicom GmbH
  • NAA
  • News International
  • The New York Times Company
  • Nihon Shinbun Kyokai NSK
  • Nippon System Gijutsu Co., Ltd.
  • Olive Software Ltd.
  • OneVision
  • Papermule
  • Periodical Publishers Association
  • ppi Media
  • Press Computer Systems (PCS)
  • Print Online
  • Production Response
  • PubliGroupe (Iware)
  • pub-specs LLC
  • Quickcut UK
  • Reklamedata
  • Ringier
  • Ritzau’s Medienet
  • Rivcom
  • Rosetta
  • Roularta Media Group NV
  • Savvis (WAM!NET)
  • Stadsporten Citygate AB
  • Studio One Origination Ltd.
  • Summit Information Technologies
  • Sysopen Digia Integration Oy (formerly Sentera)
  • Telegraph Media Group Ltd.
  • TIBCO Software Inc.
  • TietoEnator
  • Time Inc.
  • VDA Informatiebeheersing BV
  • Vio Worldwide Ltd.
  • Wedia