Next Project Reinvention meeting set


AAAAs EVP Mike Donahue tells RBR/TVBR the Project Reinvention Committee will be meeting in early January or before to decide what to do about a number of industry issues the Committee has been addressing, on a united front. The consensus of those issues will be presented at a session in March at the first day of the AAAAs in New Orleans. He says they will be specifically be presenting agreements on what needs to be changed; what needs to be kept. “And these agreements will have been vetted with the sales side, not just the buyer side—this is not unilateral.”

Consensus items will include cancellations, preemptions, what kind of ratings service the industry should use; what posting is, etc. “Yes, and one of the key things is to take unnecessary costs out of the supply chain of the media transaction process so that the money that advertisers pay goes for increased value, rather than errors that happen because the process just isn’t very updated,” Donahue said. “Our business probably is the least advanced electronically end to end—from buying to bill pay than anything in sight on the planet.”

He adds, “The main goals for Project Reinvention from Day 1 have been to reinvent and update the buying and selling practices for all media. We started this a little over a year ago. [Group M CEO] Irwin Gotlieb probably gave us the greatest impetus for this, pointing out that what we need to do, for example in spot television, to make it a lot more easier to buy—ideally as easy to buy as network television. He said one of the big problems is you can pin all of the network inventory, but you can’t do that with spot because oftentimes when you buy spot, you buy it in a way that allows it to be preempted. Often when you buy spot you don’t know until well after the fact what ran and didn’t run.”

The Committee has first gone after solving problems with local television (they’ve been working very closely with TVB EVP Abby Auerbach) and the Internet. Donahue says they are making good progress on both, with local television a little further ahead because they started a little early. “It’s a whole different world than it was 10 years ago—even four or five years ago. We’ve got to make it more electronic; more transparent and easier to manage. It’s all a part of a whole bunch of digital initiatives that I started here that encompass everything from creating data standards as the world morphs into a bunch more important data streams than we had before—what I call ‘Project Data’; it’s Project Reinvention, which is changing the buy-sell once you get the get the data; to ‘Beyond Counting Exposures,’ which is an internet initiative to measure what happens after the exposure but before the click; to ‘Ad-ID’, which is our digital asset coding and metadata input system that is being adopted by all media now. All the way to ‘eBiz for Media,’ which is cleaning up everything so that there are fewer discrepancies from beginning to end. So it’s all part of sort of a digital mash-up.”