Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eva Longoria Drink HINT to Reinvigorate Careers

sarah%20michelle%20gellar.jpg

What do you do when you've pigeonholed your career in an award-winning TV series? If Eva Longoria and Sarah Michelle Gellar are any indication, you get behind a beverage. (Or change your name. The sirens of Desperate Housewives and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are now, legally, Eva Longoria Parker and Sarah Michelle Prinze. Uh ... yeah.)

Eva and Sarah, among other celebrities, are helping promote a flavored water drink called HINT. It boasts zero calories, no artificial sweeteners and total lack of tact.

Here's to their health. (We're brand-whore traditionalists, so we'll stick with Evian.)

by Angela Natividad    Jan-16-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Promotions   

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Dear AdRants:

Here's a little diatribe that I thought you might find interesting. It's a real lesson in squeezing money from the wrong end of the industry...

Although often thought of as the tail end (read ass) of the advertising process, broadcast traffic departments throughout the U. S. have recently been the focus of an extortion bid, perpetrated on the American advertising industry by (of all people) the 4A’s. As everyone in broadcast advertising knows, every single radio or television commercial produced for air must be “slated” with a distinguishing commercial code known colloquially as an “Isci” (Industry Standard Commercial Identification) code. This Isci coding system, devised approximately forty years ago by David Dole (a former agency muckety-muck, and 4A’s executive), consists of four letters (usually designating the client and the brand or product) along with four numbers (usually designating the year of production, the sequence of production within the year, and the length of the spot). For almost forty years, the Isci coding system worked extremely well with exceedingly few problems. In order to achieve this feat, the 4A’s sold (or “leased”) unique Isci letters specific to a client, product, or agency at a reasonable cost (approximately $250 for four letters in perpetuity – we thought), while the agencies then individually devised how they wished to designate the numerical portion of their Isci codes.

Nearly forty years later, in order to create a new revenue source (for ever-increasing salaries, rent, health insurance costs, etc.) and to seem technologically savvy, the 4A’s decided to hire a company to “create” a web-based computer program that stores commercial production information, assigns a “unique” “Ad-Id” code, and which then charges agencies a fee for each “Ad-ID” created. In other words, they decided to “fix” a system that was not broken begin with, and make some extra cash while doing so. The 4A’s now needs to recoup two million dollars spent to create this new computer program. Once the 4A’s eliminates that debt, the annual Ad-Id fees can then generate much needed income to help pay for the continually increasing mid-town Manhattan rent, salaries, etc. Thus, the 4A’s intends to coerce ad agencies into using (and thus paying for) their computer/ albatross, often by going directly to clients (aka advertisers) with what can only be seen as scare tactics, extortion demands, and edicts.

This “new” web-based computer program requires that each client designate someone (usually at the agency) to be given the access and the responsibility of entering all “Metadata” on the production of spot(s) into the Ad-Id computer, prior to assigning the “Ad-Id.” This process often duplicates a system already in place at most, if not all, advertising agencies. A fee is then extracted from the agency (with various levels of annual contracts from as little as $1,500 for four letters and ten commercial codes, up to $10,000 for unlimited Ad-Id codes for a specific client/product within the given year). Thus with the new Ad-Id system, in order to “officially” slate a commercial for air, a contract and payment must be made to the 4A’s for each and every code to be used/assigned, and this contract must be renewed (and paid) each and every year, in perpetuity.

The use of the Ad-Id system (according to the 4A’s) eliminates any possibility of accidental or intentional commercial code duplication, as this system assigns a twelve place alphanumeric code instead of the old eight place (four alpha/four numeric) Isci Code. Unfortunately, there has already been a major conflict reported within the Ad-
Id System, with two advertisers attempting to use the same codes for their national/ network spots. Yes, one of the advertisers was a foreign bank that had not registered with the 4A’s prior to slating its spots; however, a conflict has already occurred, nonetheless. So much for the claim of total elimination of coding duplication…

As most clients are not completely sure as to how many codes will be needed in a given year (revisions are almost never expected and planned for in advance), the 4A’s is undoubtedly hoping that most of the major advertisers will opt for the unlimited/$10,000 annual Ad-Id package. This would definitely help to pay off the two million dollars the 4A’s originally sunk into their Ad-Id computer program, as well as to help fund their next holiday party, etc. However, aside from the obvious financial detraction attached to this new system, the program itself is time consuming to use and then ultimately creates a cumbersome twelve place alphanumeric code to be slated onto each spot! These codes bear no resemblance to previously assigned Isci codes (numerically), and all end in 0000, making the codes much more difficult to read and to keep distinct. Many of the agencies that have been forced to begin using this new computer system have complained about the last four 0’s, and have ultimately just deleted them from their commercial slates and/or scheduling instructions, thus completely defeating the original purpose of the new Ad-Id system.

Of course, many agencies saw this ploy for what it was and originally ignored the pleas and propaganda being disseminated by the 4A’s claiming that the system was completely “digital” and “tracked all on air commercials” when in fact it was just a computerized information storage system that also assigned commercial codes for a fee. The fact that an agency will lose access to all stored commercial information once a client departs from the agency, does not raise an issue with the 4A’s. However, most agencies need to retain historical information regarding productions well past the loss of a particular client, account, or product. Even with the 4A’s claiming (often going over agencies’ heads and contacting major advertisers/clients directly) that stations and networks will no longer allow spots to air without using the new Ad-Id system, many agencies have been reluctant if not outright hostile toward the 4A’s strong-arming extortion attempts. The latest e-mailed epistle claims that Isci Codes no longer exist and that if registration is not made for formerly leased Isci letters (and at least 10 codes purchased) prior to 2009, old Isci letters will be re-sold to new Ad-Id customers willing to pay the annual fees set by the 4A’s.

Traffic is usually the last item on any agency’s agenda. However, when an industry “club” decides that it can extort annual usage fees of up to $10,000 per client, the only fiscally responsible thing to do is to blow the whistle on them. This attempt to defraud the Big Dumb Advertising Agencies (BDAA being the actual set of Ad-Id letters established by the 4A’s for a single code purchased) cannot continue.

Posted by: Isci Straight Up on January 19, 2008 12:45 PM

Dear AdRants:

Here's a little diatribe that I thought you might find interesting. It's a real lesson in squeezing money from the wrong end of the industry...

Although often thought of as the tail end (read ass) of the advertising process, broadcast traffic departments throughout the U. S. have recently been the focus of an extortion bid, perpetrated on the American advertising industry by (of all people) the 4A’s. As everyone in broadcast advertising knows, every single radio or television commercial produced for air must be “slated” with a distinguishing commercial code known colloquially as an “Isci” (Industry Standard Commercial Identification) code. This Isci coding system, devised approximately forty years ago by David Dole (a former agency muckety-muck, and 4A’s executive), consists of four letters (usually designating the client and the brand or product) along with four numbers (usually designating the year of production, the sequence of production within the year, and the length of the spot). For almost forty years, the Isci coding system worked extremely well with exceedingly few problems. In order to achieve this feat, the 4A’s sold (or “leased”) unique Isci letters specific to a client, product, or agency at a reasonable cost (approximately $250 for four letters in perpetuity – we thought), while the agencies then individually devised how they wished to designate the numerical portion of their Isci codes.

Nearly forty years later, in order to create a new revenue source (for ever-increasing salaries, rent, health insurance costs, etc.) and to seem technologically savvy, the 4A’s decided to hire a company to “create” a web-based computer program that stores commercial production information, assigns a “unique” “Ad-Id” code, and which then charges agencies a fee for each “Ad-ID” created. In other words, they decided to “fix” a system that was not broken begin with, and make some extra cash while doing so. The 4A’s now needs to recoup two million dollars spent to create this new computer program. Once the 4A’s eliminates that debt, the annual Ad-Id fees can then generate much needed income to help pay for the continually increasing mid-town Manhattan rent, salaries, etc. Thus, the 4A’s intends to coerce ad agencies into using (and thus paying for) their computer/ albatross, often by going directly to clients (aka advertisers) with what can only be seen as scare tactics, extortion demands, and edicts.

This “new” web-based computer program requires that each client designate someone (usually at the agency) to be given the access and the responsibility of entering all “Metadata” on the production of spot(s) into the Ad-Id computer, prior to assigning the “Ad-Id.” This process often duplicates a system already in place at most, if not all, advertising agencies. A fee is then extracted from the agency (with various levels of annual contracts from as little as $1,500 for four letters and ten commercial codes, up to $10,000 for unlimited Ad-Id codes for a specific client/product within the given year). Thus with the new Ad-Id system, in order to “officially” slate a commercial for air, a contract and payment must be made to the 4A’s for each and every code to be used/assigned, and this contract must be renewed (and paid) each and every year, in perpetuity.

The use of the Ad-Id system (according to the 4A’s) eliminates any possibility of accidental or intentional commercial code duplication, as this system assigns a twelve place alphanumeric code instead of the old eight place (four alpha/four numeric) Isci Code. Unfortunately, there has already been a major conflict reported within the Ad-
Id System, with two advertisers attempting to use the same codes for their national/ network spots. Yes, one of the advertisers was a foreign bank that had not registered with the 4A’s prior to slating its spots; however, a conflict has already occurred, nonetheless. So much for the claim of total elimination of coding duplication…

As most clients are not completely sure as to how many codes will be needed in a given year (revisions are almost never expected and planned for in advance), the 4A’s is undoubtedly hoping that most of the major advertisers will opt for the unlimited/$10,000 annual Ad-Id package. This would definitely help to pay off the two million dollars the 4A’s originally sunk into their Ad-Id computer program, as well as to help fund their next holiday party, etc. However, aside from the obvious financial detraction attached to this new system, the program itself is time consuming to use and then ultimately creates a cumbersome twelve place alphanumeric code to be slated onto each spot! These codes bear no resemblance to previously assigned Isci codes (numerically), and all end in 0000, making the codes much more difficult to read and to keep distinct. Many of the agencies that have been forced to begin using this new computer system have complained about the last four 0’s, and have ultimately just deleted them from their commercial slates and/or scheduling instructions, thus completely defeating the original purpose of the new Ad-Id system.

Of course, many agencies saw this ploy for what it was and originally ignored the pleas and propaganda being disseminated by the 4A’s claiming that the system was completely “digital” and “tracked all on air commercials” when in fact it was just a computerized information storage system that also assigned commercial codes for a fee. The fact that an agency will lose access to all stored commercial information once a client departs from the agency, does not raise an issue with the 4A’s. However, most agencies need to retain historical information regarding productions well past the loss of a particular client, account, or product. Even with the 4A’s claiming (often going over agencies’ heads and contacting major advertisers/clients directly) that stations and networks will no longer allow spots to air without using the new Ad-Id system, many agencies have been reluctant if not outright hostile toward the 4A’s strong-arming extortion attempts. The latest e-mailed epistle claims that Isci Codes no longer exist and that if registration is not made for formerly leased Isci letters (and at least 10 codes purchased) prior to 2009, old Isci letters will be re-sold to new Ad-Id customers willing to pay the annual fees set by the 4A’s.

Traffic is usually the last item on any agency’s agenda. However, when an industry “club” decides that it can extort annual usage fees of up to $10,000 per client, the only fiscally responsible thing to do is to blow the whistle on them. This attempt to defraud the Big Dumb Advertising Agencies (BDAA being the actual set of Ad-Id letters established by the 4A’s for a single code purchased) cannot continue.

Posted by: Isci Straight Up on January 19, 2008 12:46 PM

Dear AdRants:

Here's a little diatribe that I thought you might find interesting. It's a real lesson in squeezing money from the wrong end of the industry...

Although often thought of as the tail end (read ass) of the advertising process, broadcast traffic departments throughout the U. S. have recently been the focus of an extortion bid, perpetrated on the American advertising industry by (of all people) the 4A’s. As everyone in broadcast advertising knows, every single radio or television commercial produced for air must be “slated” with a distinguishing commercial code known colloquially as an “Isci” (Industry Standard Commercial Identification) code. This Isci coding system, devised approximately forty years ago by David Dole (a former agency muckety-muck, and 4A’s executive), consists of four letters (usually designating the client and the brand or product) along with four numbers (usually designating the year of production, the sequence of production within the year, and the length of the spot). For almost forty years, the Isci coding system worked extremely well with exceedingly few problems. In order to achieve this feat, the 4A’s sold (or “leased”) unique Isci letters specific to a client, product, or agency at a reasonable cost (approximately $250 for four letters in perpetuity – we thought), while the agencies then individually devised how they wished to designate the numerical portion of their Isci codes.

Nearly forty years later, in order to create a new revenue source (for ever-increasing salaries, rent, health insurance costs, etc.) and to seem technologically savvy, the 4A’s decided to hire a company to “create” a web-based computer program that stores commercial production information, assigns a “unique” “Ad-Id” code, and which then charges agencies a fee for each “Ad-ID” created. In other words, they decided to “fix” a system that was not broken begin with, and make some extra cash while doing so. The 4A’s now needs to recoup two million dollars spent to create this new computer program. Once the 4A’s eliminates that debt, the annual Ad-Id fees can then generate much needed income to help pay for the continually increasing mid-town Manhattan rent, salaries, etc. Thus, the 4A’s intends to coerce ad agencies into using (and thus paying for) their computer/ albatross, often by going directly to clients (aka advertisers) with what can only be seen as scare tactics, extortion demands, and edicts.

This “new” web-based computer program requires that each client designate someone (usually at the agency) to be given the access and the responsibility of entering all “Metadata” on the production of spot(s) into the Ad-Id computer, prior to assigning the “Ad-Id.” This process often duplicates a system already in place at most, if not all, advertising agencies. A fee is then extracted from the agency (with various levels of annual contracts from as little as $1,500 for four letters and ten commercial codes, up to $10,000 for unlimited Ad-Id codes for a specific client/product within the given year). Thus with the new Ad-Id system, in order to “officially” slate a commercial for air, a contract and payment must be made to the 4A’s for each and every code to be used/assigned, and this contract must be renewed (and paid) each and every year, in perpetuity.

The use of the Ad-Id system (according to the 4A’s) eliminates any possibility of accidental or intentional commercial code duplication, as this system assigns a twelve place alphanumeric code instead of the old eight place (four alpha/four numeric) Isci Code. Unfortunately, there has already been a major conflict reported within the Ad-
Id System, with two advertisers attempting to use the same codes for their national/ network spots. Yes, one of the advertisers was a foreign bank that had not registered with the 4A’s prior to slating its spots; however, a conflict has already occurred, nonetheless. So much for the claim of total elimination of coding duplication…

As most clients are not completely sure as to how many codes will be needed in a given year (revisions are almost never expected and planned for in advance), the 4A’s is undoubtedly hoping that most of the major advertisers will opt for the unlimited/$10,000 annual Ad-Id package. This would definitely help to pay off the two million dollars the 4A’s originally sunk into their Ad-Id computer program, as well as to help fund their next holiday party, etc. However, aside from the obvious financial detraction attached to this new system, the program itself is time consuming to use and then ultimately creates a cumbersome twelve place alphanumeric code to be slated onto each spot! These codes bear no resemblance to previously assigned Isci codes (numerically), and all end in 0000, making the codes much more difficult to read and to keep distinct. Many of the agencies that have been forced to begin using this new computer system have complained about the last four 0’s, and have ultimately just deleted them from their commercial slates and/or scheduling instructions, thus completely defeating the original purpose of the new Ad-Id system.

Of course, many agencies saw this ploy for what it was and originally ignored the pleas and propaganda being disseminated by the 4A’s claiming that the system was completely “digital” and “tracked all on air commercials” when in fact it was just a computerized information storage system that also assigned commercial codes for a fee. The fact that an agency will lose access to all stored commercial information once a client departs from the agency, does not raise an issue with the 4A’s. However, most agencies need to retain historical information regarding productions well past the loss of a particular client, account, or product. Even with the 4A’s claiming (often going over agencies’ heads and contacting major advertisers/clients directly) that stations and networks will no longer allow spots to air without using the new Ad-Id system, many agencies have been reluctant if not outright hostile toward the 4A’s strong-arming extortion attempts. The latest e-mailed epistle claims that Isci Codes no longer exist and that if registration is not made for formerly leased Isci letters (and at least 10 codes purchased) prior to 2009, old Isci letters will be re-sold to new Ad-Id customers willing to pay the annual fees set by the 4A’s.

Traffic is usually the last item on any agency’s agenda. However, when an industry “club” decides that it can extort annual usage fees of up to $10,000 per client, the only fiscally responsible thing to do is to blow the whistle on them. This attempt to defraud the Big Dumb Advertising Agencies (BDAA being the actual set of Ad-Id letters established by the 4A’s for a single code purchased) cannot continue.

Posted by: Isci Straight Up on January 19, 2008 12:46 PM

Dear AdRants:

Here's a little diatribe that I thought you might find interesting. It's a real lesson in squeezing money from the wrong end of the industry...

Although often thought of as the tail end (read ass) of the advertising process, broadcast traffic departments throughout the U. S. have recently been the focus of an extortion bid, perpetrated on the American advertising industry by (of all people) the 4A’s. As everyone in broadcast advertising knows, every single radio or television commercial produced for air must be “slated” with a distinguishing commercial code known colloquially as an “Isci” (Industry Standard Commercial Identification) code. This Isci coding system, devised approximately forty years ago by David Dole (a former agency muckety-muck, and 4A’s executive), consists of four letters (usually designating the client and the brand or product) along with four numbers (usually designating the year of production, the sequence of production within the year, and the length of the spot). For almost forty years, the Isci coding system worked extremely well with exceedingly few problems. In order to achieve this feat, the 4A’s sold (or “leased”) unique Isci letters specific to a client, product, or agency at a reasonable cost (approximately $250 for four letters in perpetuity – we thought), while the agencies then individually devised how they wished to designate the numerical portion of their Isci codes.

Nearly forty years later, in order to create a new revenue source (for ever-increasing salaries, rent, health insurance costs, etc.) and to seem technologically savvy, the 4A’s decided to hire a company to “create” a web-based computer program that stores commercial production information, assigns a “unique” “Ad-Id” code, and which then charges agencies a fee for each “Ad-ID” created. In other words, they decided to “fix” a system that was not broken begin with, and make some extra cash while doing so. The 4A’s now needs to recoup two million dollars spent to create this new computer program. Once the 4A’s eliminates that debt, the annual Ad-Id fees can then generate much needed income to help pay for the continually increasing mid-town Manhattan rent, salaries, etc. Thus, the 4A’s intends to coerce ad agencies into using (and thus paying for) their computer/ albatross, often by going directly to clients (aka advertisers) with what can only be seen as scare tactics, extortion demands, and edicts.

This “new” web-based computer program requires that each client designate someone (usually at the agency) to be given the access and the responsibility of entering all “Metadata” on the production of spot(s) into the Ad-Id computer, prior to assigning the “Ad-Id.” This process often duplicates a system already in place at most, if not all, advertising agencies. A fee is then extracted from the agency (with various levels of annual contracts from as little as $1,500 for four letters and ten commercial codes, up to $10,000 for unlimited Ad-Id codes for a specific client/product within the given year). Thus with the new Ad-Id system, in order to “officially” slate a commercial for air, a contract and payment must be made to the 4A’s for each and every code to be used/assigned, and this contract must be renewed (and paid) each and every year, in perpetuity.

The use of the Ad-Id system (according to the 4A’s) eliminates any possibility of accidental or intentional commercial code duplication, as this system assigns a twelve place alphanumeric code instead of the old eight place (four alpha/four numeric) Isci Code. Unfortunately, there has already been a major conflict reported within the Ad-
Id System, with two advertisers attempting to use the same codes for their national/ network spots. Yes, one of the advertisers was a foreign bank that had not registered with the 4A’s prior to slating its spots; however, a conflict has already occurred, nonetheless. So much for the claim of total elimination of coding duplication…

As most clients are not completely sure as to how many codes will be needed in a given year (revisions are almost never expected and planned for in advance), the 4A’s is undoubtedly hoping that most of the major advertisers will opt for the unlimited/$10,000 annual Ad-Id package. This would definitely help to pay off the two million dollars the 4A’s originally sunk into their Ad-Id computer program, as well as to help fund their next holiday party, etc. However, aside from the obvious financial detraction attached to this new system, the program itself is time consuming to use and then ultimately creates a cumbersome twelve place alphanumeric code to be slated onto each spot! These codes bear no resemblance to previously assigned Isci codes (numerically), and all end in 0000, making the codes much more difficult to read and to keep distinct. Many of the agencies that have been forced to begin using this new computer system have complained about the last four 0’s, and have ultimately just deleted them from their commercial slates and/or scheduling instructions, thus completely defeating the original purpose of the new Ad-Id system.

Of course, many agencies saw this ploy for what it was and originally ignored the pleas and propaganda being disseminated by the 4A’s claiming that the system was completely “digital” and “tracked all on air commercials” when in fact it was just a computerized information storage system that also assigned commercial codes for a fee. The fact that an agency will lose access to all stored commercial information once a client departs from the agency, does not raise an issue with the 4A’s. However, most agencies need to retain historical information regarding productions well past the loss of a particular client, account, or product. Even with the 4A’s claiming (often going over agencies’ heads and contacting major advertisers/clients directly) that stations and networks will no longer allow spots to air without using the new Ad-Id system, many agencies have been reluctant if not outright hostile toward the 4A’s strong-arming extortion attempts. The latest e-mailed epistle claims that Isci Codes no longer exist and that if registration is not made for formerly leased Isci letters (and at least 10 codes purchased) prior to 2009, old Isci letters will be re-sold to new Ad-Id customers willing to pay the annual fees set by the 4A’s.

Traffic is usually the last item on any agency’s agenda. However, when an industry “club” decides that it can extort annual usage fees of up to $10,000 per client, the only fiscally responsible thing to do is to blow the whistle on them. This attempt to defraud the Big Dumb Advertising Agencies (BDAA being the actual set of Ad-Id letters established by the 4A’s for a single code purchased) cannot continue.

Posted by: Isci Straight Up on January 19, 2008 12:46 PM







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