TVB News


"Giant step forward" to achieving paperless process; TVB will post case study on its website for use of all

New Orleans, March 2, 2005 - Taking a significant step forward toward achieving a paperless process, open-standards electronic orders were sent for the first time this week from an ad agency to a collection of television stations, it was announced today by the Television Bureau of Advertising at the AAAA Media Conference and Trade Show.

The AAAA is the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

The orders were sent by Horizon Media and received by Viacom television stations; the project was done under the auspices of the TVB EDI Committee. The trading partners used the TVB open-standards schema, the industry-endorsed hub transport based on web services, a non-proprietary architecture and the AAAA's electronic registry - all publicly available.

Powering the project was the technology know-how of Microsoft, Spot Buy Spot and Strata Marketing. The trading partners and their technology providers committed considerable resources in this effort to demonstrate the way for all advertisers, agencies, broadcasters and related vendors to join in a new wave of electronic workflow and process for local broadcast television.

"Today's announcement represents the first phase in the TVB effort to foster open standards based connectivity for the full life cycle of a local broadcast television buy and is a giant step forward to achieving a paperless process," said Chris Rohrs, TVB president. "The pilot group started with Order. Sending orders electronically eliminates the need to re-key orders which dramatically increases accuracy and efficiency."

The full life cycle of a buy includes Order, Revision, Makegood, Broadcast Instructions and Invoice.

Tom Kane, president of sales, Viacom Television Stations Group, said: "Conducting business using the TVB open standards is an important part of the Viacom Television Stations Group strategy to continue a close and productive relationship with all of our advertisers and agency partners. Connectivity to our customers helps us maintain a strong sales organization through reduced errors, improved operational efficiencies, improved inventory management and improved forecasting as well."

Jim Shanney, EVP and CIO, Horizon Media, said: "The TVB EDI initiative will make our buyers more efficient by reducing manual tasks, thus allowing them to spend more time adding value for our clients. Our buyers are thrilled at the prospect of eliminating tedious tasks like sending orders and rekeying data as well as reducing errors and discrepancies. I am extremely happy that agencies, stations and rep firms have finally agreed to, and implemented, a single set of standards that can be shared by all."

TVB's Rohrs said, "In making the selling/buying process easier and more fun - in addition to more efficient, accurate and accountable - broadcasters anticipate that EDI will open the door to significantly greater use of local broadcast television as an advertising medium."

Greg Smith, co-chairman of the AAAA Media Technology Committee and chief information officer of McCann Worldwide, said, "TVB has been a clear leader in the development of open standards and an important partner in the AAAA effort to foster peer-to-peer connectivity. This XML order project takes open standards to the next level - it successfully puts the industry-approved transaction to work in an open standard architecture. I applaud TVB and the project partners for openly sharing their success so that the entire industry can benefit from their work."

TVB will post a case study of the open standards project in the EDI Toolbox on its website The case study will describe the open architecture used to send XML orders between trading partners for this pilot project. The TVB EDI Toolbox and project case study are public areas on the trade association's site.

John Shelton, president and COO, Strata Marketing, Inc., said, "The TVB XML standards do not require commitment or dependency on any one system to be a successful electronic trading partner. Any system on the agency side or the selling side can be enabled to accept these standard XML files. Strata is thrilled to be a part of this pilot, but we hope to be one of many systems sending and receiving electronic orders in the future."

Joy Baer, CEO, Spot Buy Spot, said: "The open-standard approach allows trading partners to connect to each other electronically, regardless of the size or financial resources of the institution. If you have spots to buy or sell, you can send or receive an electronic order from virtually anywhere in this model, with a minor technology investment to support the XML standards. It's a very exciting opportunity for all players - big and small - to realize the benefits of electronic trade."

"Microsoft was excited to participate in this initiative to further demonstrate both our strong commitment to standards-based computing using XML Web Services as well as our growing focus on working with all of our Media and Entertainment customers and partners," said Matthew Degel, Enterprise Architect with Microsoft's Media & Entertainment Group. "We want to enable everyone to realize the promise of connected-systems based on a service-oriented architecture to drive down costs and complexity, increase efficiencies, and generate new business opportunities."

Abby Auerbach, Executive Vice President, TVB, stressed the benefits of open standards will be widespread. "Open standards allows for greater competition among technology and system providers because, large or small, they can afford to bring their products to market. This is good for buyers and sellers that want to choose 'best of breed' technology to run their businesses and differentiate themselves in the competitive advertising and media services world," she said. "Providing open-standards connectivity between trading partners is about eliminating time-consuming and error-prone rekeying in the selling/buying process. We want to free sellers and buyers to have more time for professional negotiation - this is about automating the backroom process, not online negotiation."

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