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CIP4 and AdsML Consortium Agree to Coordinate Standards Development Efforts

Goal is seamless print advertising workflow; areas of responsibility for specification designs assigned, defined

4 April 2005 — DARMSTADT, Germany and ZURICH, Switzerland — The technical committees of the AdsML Consortium, an international initiative to bring open standards for e-commerce to the advertising industry, and the International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) organization, an international standards development association established in Switzerland, have agreed to a formal demarcation between standards development for advertising e-commerce and standards for print advertising production workflow.
Representatives of the two organizations met successively in Heidelberg, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium, recently, to clarify the printing workflow areas their specifications address and to coordinate efforts so that both CIP4’s Job Definition Format (JDF) specification and the AdsML Framework specifications developed by the AdsML Consortium are compatible.

Enhancements planned; test implementations start

The two groups agreed that the AdsML Consortium’s specifications will govern communications between the advertiser and the publisher, including the description of an ad’s placement in the page layout of a print publication, while CIP4’s specifications will govern the flow of information and materials related to the physical production and distribution of the publication. Developers have identified connection points between the two suites of standards and have agreed that the interfaces between them must be seamless.
With this agreement in place and responsibilities defined, test implementations of the AdsML and JDF standards in relation to print advertising can begin. In addition, CIP4 will add specific features to JDF 1.3, the next version of the specification, to facilitate advertising production. AdsML Framework Release 3 is due for release in October 2005 at IfraExpo in Germany.

How it will work

The AdsML Framework standard, which carries business information related to the booking of an ad as well as the ad content and attendant placement and reproduction instructions, facilitates ad trafficking up to the point where the ad enters the production workflow. Advertisers and publishers will use AdsML Framework-compliant systems and processes for ordering and submitting ads, thereby shortening deadlines for ad submissions, which benefits both advertisers and publishers. Once an ad is placed on the page in a JDF 1.3-enabled system, the information about the proper reproduction of the ad — conveyed within the data transmitted under AdsML Framework guidelines and augmented by the publisher — will become part of the JDF data stream. This digital hand off of information will reduce errors and fully automate the steps leading to high quality reproduction of advertisements. JDF 1.3 implementations will provide the added ability to track individual ads throughout the production process. This capability will eventually enable multiple versions of ads to be tracked individually through to distribution. Electronic tearsheets can then be created with a near-perfect level of accuracy, streamlining the billing process. At this point the standards can dove-tail again: AdsML may carry the e-tearsheets and invoices from the publisher back to the originating agency or advertiser, bringing the process full circle.

About the AdsML Framework

The AdsML Framework for E-commerce Business Standards for Advertising is a suite of international standards for the electronic exchange of business information and advertising content between advertisers, publishers, broadcasters and their agents and suppliers. The goal is to establish specifications to facilitate this exchange from the moment an ad is placed and created to the end-point where it is published or broadcast, invoiced and paid. AdsML 1.0 was approved in June 2004 and pilot projects already are proving that the AdsML Framework is able to improve workflow and reduce costs for all trading partners. AdsML Framework 2.0 was released for public review in October 2004 and is pending approval. More information is available at http://www.adsml.org/.

About JDF

The Job Definition Format (JDF) is the industry specification designed to facilitate process automation and the integration of different applications and systems in and around the Graphic Arts industry. JDF also enables the integration of business management and job planning applications into the production workflow. JDF is based on the W3C’s Extensible Markup Language (XML), ensuring maximum interoperability between different platforms and ready interaction with Internet systems. More information is available at http://www.cip4.org/.

About CIP4

CIP4 brings together vendors, consultants, and end-users in the print communications, Graphic Arts industry, and associated sectors, covering a variety of equipment, software, peripherals, and processes. Members participate in focused working groups to define the Job Definition Format (JDF), PrintTalk, and other standards relevant to process automation; to study user requirements; to test product interoperability; and to develop a range of JDF tools. Information on CIP4, including membership details, is available from the organization’s web site: www.cip4.org. Or contact: Stefan Daun, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, +49 6151 155 575, secretariat@cip4.org. All content and ideas submitted to the CIP4 user groups and intellectual property rights subsisting therein shall become the exclusive property of CIP4.

About the AdsML Consortium and Its Partners

The mission of the AdsML Consortium is to develop an open standard that will unify and extend existing advertising standards and automate advertising business processes — across all types of media, for all stages of the lifecycle of an advertisement, across all segments of the advertising industry, worldwide. It is supported by Ifra, a leading international association for newspaper and media publishing, and the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), which represents more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. The Consortium’s strategic partners are Agfa, Associated Newspapers, Ltd. and Time, Inc.
The Consortium’s members include a growing list of companies and organizations united to create a set of internationally-adopted specifications and business processes for the exchange of advertising information and content.

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