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OpenAP Names Accenture as Third-Party Administrator

OpenAP, the advanced advertising audience-targeting consortium started by Viacom, Turner and Fox, announced that its platform will be built and administered by Accenture.

At a meeting in Manhattan Friday morning to familiarize media buying agencies with its plans, OpenAP also said that data from both Nielsen and comScore will be incorporated into the platform.

At a time when traditional ratings are falling, Viacom, Turner and Fox are among the TV companies looking to use data to make advertising more efficient and effective.

The consortium was formed to create an industry-wide way of standardizing the creation of audience targets and measuring the delivery of the targeted audience.

Related: Analysts Like OpenAP But Debate Timing, Impact

"You have been the catalyst for OpenAP," Turner ad sales president Donna Speciale told the meeting. "You've been asking us to come together to unify, to simplify audience targeting on TV and make it more scalable. We listened."

The consortium is hoping to get more programmers to sign up. NBCU has already expressed some reservations. But the three founding members believe they represent a good start.

"Together we have massive reach. Our content is premium and global," Speciale said. "We have trusted brands, premium content and a safe environment for all your messages."

Advertisers will not be able to buy advertising through OpenAP.

"This is a step towards something that's very important," said Joe Marchese, president of advanced advertising products for Fox. "Dora can finally play with Bart. They just need adult supervision form Anderson Cooper to make sure nothing goes horribly wrong," he joked.

Marchese said that Accenture will both build the OpenAP website and platform. It will also provide third-party validation and post-campaign reports showing how many members of the target audience were reached.

Bryson Gordon, executive VP of data strategy at Viacom, provided some details of how the platform could be used by advertisers and agencies.

He said the platform would enable clients to create consistent audience targets, keep data secure and provide third-party posting on the back end.

After the presentation, one media agency executive, Jonathan Bokor, senior VP, director of advanced media at MediaVest, had a positive reaction.

"There was more to it than I expected," he said, adding "the devil is in the details."

Nielsen, whose data underpins the traditional way TV ads are bought and sold, said its data will remain important as TV turns towards buying targeted audience segments.

“We support the consortium’s ambitions to create a clearinghouse for audience-based buying on linear television,” said Lynda Clarizio, president of U.S. Media for Nielsen, in a statement. “Nielsen’s audience segments built on our household, person level and buyergraphic ratings data are the most widely used for National audience based buying across linear television today.  We are confident that they will play the same role in OpenAP. We look forward to working with the participating networks and advertisers on the broader success of this initiative.”

Open AP wil also utilize comScore's set-top box level Tv viewing deata as well as its data-matching capabilities.

"It's clear that the media industry wants to increase the use of advanced currencies for television buying, and OpenAP promises to accelerate that path," said Bill Livek, president of comScore. "As pioneers in the integration of advanced audience data with television viewing, we strongly support this effort that helps move the industry forward. We look forward to playing an integral role in OpenAP to help make advanced TV advertising a reality."

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.