Major advertising and media-buying agencies are to join with leading ad sales firms and TV and radio groups to agree common standards for electronic media buying.

The initiative, sponsored by the Television Bureau of Advertising, will form a cross-industry task force to draft a set of standards to meet the goal of electronic data interchange (EDI). It aims to eliminate error and speed a process that often involves multiple written communications between broadcasters and media buyers.

Although initially the standards will focus on local broadcast platforms, EDI could equally benefit other media. Says Mike Lotito, ceo of Mediaport, a joint venture formed by Interpublic Group, WPP Group and Omnicom to advance the concept: “We want to build a multimedia standard, not just a local broadcast standard. We'll work with this group, as well as the groups from the other individual vertical industries as hard as we can.”

Grass will not sprout beneath the feet of the concept. A steering committee should be appointed this Friday and charged with the production of an early first draft of the standards.

Planning/buying networks Media Edge, MindShare, Zenith Media and MediaVest are also supporting the initiative.

News source: (USA)