Aiming to ensure higher transparency across the programmatic supply chain, IAB Tech Lab has introduced the new tech specification – SCID. See why & how you should implement it. 

Over the past few years, IAB Tech Lab has been at the forefront of the standardization of the global digital advertising industry. Namely, among the core goals its member committees are striving to achieve is the maximization of both the programmatic supply chain transparency, and the online ad measurement precision across platforms.

In this respect, following the successful adoption of the previously introduced initiatives like sellers.json and buyers.json by many businesses on the Supply and Demand side, just recently IAB Tech Lab has released another tech specification – SCID.

Why Digital Ad Businesses Need SCID

First, what is SCID? Well, the abbreviation stands for the so-called Shared Campaign Identifier, and refers to the tech specification, which enables tracking online campaign data across platforms within the entire programmatic supply chain. 

Simply put, SCID is what helps publishers, advertisers and all intermediaries involved in the programmatic ad transaction to access and track cross-platform ad campaign data, hence minimizing reporting discrepancies and making video ad measurement more efficient.

According to the developers team behind SCID, the testing rounds have demonstrated the potential reduction of revenue discrepancy by 3-4% at minimum, but the actual results are yet to be proven through real-life adoption. 

In this respect, a number of brands and ad tech companies (including Google, MediaMath and the Trade Desk, just to name a few) are already giving SCID a try, but they haven’t published any info, regarding its impact on the campaign data traceability yet. 

What’s Inside 

The Shared Campaign Identifier is a string, which is passed in a separate field in a bid response (i.e. the object) and includes the following data:

  • Advertiser ID
  • Ad Brand

Note! The advertiser brand refers to the brand name, NOT the ad domain.

  • Ad Product code
  • Customer Product Est. 
  • Extra information (optional)

Among these, the Advertiser’s ID is their Global Location Number (GLN), as registered in the Global Electronic Party Information Registry (GEPIR), while the other data points are provided by an advertiser at their sole discretion.

The sample SCID string will look the following way:

SCID = Advertiser ID + Brand + Product code + Customer Product Est. + Ext 

How to Implement SCID

The SCID implementation flow is rather comprehensive and includes the following steps:

  1. An advertiser provides all information, required for the SCID setup, to a trade desk, usually in a media brief. 
  2. The trade desk configures and generates the SCID, using the provided data, then enables access to the campaign output within the DSP/s.
  3. The DSP/s handle the ad campaign delivery. 
  4. The SCID, transferred in the bid response (in the object, as mentioned above) is accessible and easy to track by publishers, SSPs and any/all other intermediaries involved in the programmatic supply chain. 

For more technical details on how to implement SCID, please refer to the IAB Tech Lab’s implementation guide.