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Ad-ID is the advertising industry standard unique identifier for all commercial assets airing in America. It replaced the ISCI system in 2003.[1] The use of Ad-ID helps assure that the correct assets are delivered to the media, and ultimately, to the end consumer by providing a central, secure, Web-based source for stakeholders throughout the marketing communications landscape. It is mostly used in Television and Radio but has been gaining traction online and in print.

There is an equivalent code in France called ARPP.TV which also is the the French industry standard unique identifier for all ads.

Critical information about each ad and campaign is managed with Ad-ID. Details of the ad, what media the ad will be used in, clearance status, usage restrictions, related executions, and other vital information can be accessed by authorized users.


Ad-ID was developed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and the Association of National Advertisers, Inc., (ANA), Ad-ID uses the TV standard, ISCI commercial coding system as its foundation. The ISCI code was an 8 character alphanumeric code (four alpha prefix followed by four numbers) that was in use since 1970. The prefixes were licensed and centrally managed and the complete ISCI codes were manually created and not stored in a central repository. With only 8 characters the codes were running out, hence the creation of the 12 digit Ad-ID code.

Ad-ID codes are 12 digits in length, four alpha and eight alphanumeric characters. The first four alpha characters are company identification prefixes. All existing ISCI prefixes can be grandfathered into the Ad-ID system. Ad-ID codes are computer generated through a secure, Web-accessible database, located at


The Ad-ID system uses a web interface and a set of custom APIs to manage the system and integrate with customers systems. The system uses a unique algorithm to maximize the use of the 12-character codes.[2][3]

The Ad-ID system required the last 4 characters of a code to increment from the left to right, and to cycle through numbers and letters. Ad-ID codes are 12 characters, this algorithm allowed for the creation of the maximum number of unique codes.

The algorithm was written by Wesley Warren of WDI, a development partner of Ad-ID.

Larry Smith of Live Idea, Inc. served as business consultant and software developer on the Ad-ID project.


Some of the largest companies in the world use Ad-ID everyday to manage their advertising assets. Companies such as Microsoft, Ford, BMW, Pepsi, HP


[4] In October 2007 ISCI was officially withdrawn from the marketplace and replaced by Ad-ID.