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Commercials with union talent now require tracking technology

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From now on, all commercials made with union actors must include a digital code that allows the ads to be tracked across all media.  

SAG-AFTRA, The Association of National Advertisers  and the American Association of Advertising Agencies agreed in their current contract to adopt a technology known as Ad-ID by March 31.  The Web-based technology assigns each commercial an eleven or twelve-character code.  

Ad-ID Chief Growth Officer Harold Geller said the system will help advertisers measure the effectiveness of commercials on-air and on-line.

"Advertisers today are looking for what they call brand-specific commercial ratings, rather than aggregate ratings of the time period that a spot ran in," Geller told KPCC. "Using Ad-ID allows the measurement companies to get very granular and very timely in their reporting."

SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez said underpayment is a big concern for commercial performers, but not because advertisers are doing so intentionally.

"The process of tracking commercials and then keeping track of what aired when, with which cast of performers is very complex, and mistakes are made," Rodriguez said. He added that while  the technology won’t completely eliminate mistakes, it will help reduce them. 

An Ad-ID code will be assigned to each video and radio commercial produced with union performers, Geller says the company is also rolling it out for print magazine ads and ads on tablets.