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Resource Guide:

Media, Tech & Data

Clear. Straightforward. Trusted. Don’t risk a million-dollar contract without leaning on our up-to-date resources and top-notch experts.

The 4A’s Media, Tech & Data team is committed to advancing the industry and driving value to our members through a combination of advocacy, education, thought leadership, member consultations, committee & task force management, and events.

The media team’s goal is to support 4A’s members in everything related to media, data and analytics – from media agency structure to member guidance on Brand Safety. Media is no longer just about media agencies, it now affects the whole advertising ecosystem. We are here to support our members in every possible way. We have an always-up-to-date page where our members can find the latest resources we’ve created to help provide guidance for their media teams.

Make sure to log in to access the information below.

Industry Initiatives & Associations

Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media

The governing group of the new Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media will be made up of representatives from major industry organizations (including the Association of National Advertisers, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Network Advertising Initiative), advertisers (including Ford, General Motors, IBM, Procter & Gamble and Unilever), agencies (IPG Mediabrands’ UM and Publicis Media), NBC Universal and ad-tech companies (Adobe, MediaMath, The Trade Desk).

The organization will advance and protect ad companies’ ability to serve personalized digital ads and collect data used for analytics, while also safeguarding privacy and improving the consumer experience. Read more here.

Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS)

3MS is a joint effort of the 4A’s, ANA, IAB and the MRC to drive development and adoption of new measurement standards into the marketplace to facilitate the planning, and measurement of digital media and facilitate cross-platform comparison. The ultimate goal is to be able to understand drivers of value across channels. The MRC is currently accepting agency research to help drive the cross-media measurement standards (more information can be found here). For more information about this initiative please see this link.

Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)

Jointly formed by the 4A’s, ANA and IAB in May 2015 to fight criminal activity in the digital supply chain. TAG is focused on 4 areas: 1) eliminating fraud, 2) combating malware, 3) fighting ad-supported piracy and 4) promoting brand safety through greater transparency.

Coalition for Better Ads (CBA)

In September 2016 the CBA was formed to address ad blocking by focusing on improving consumer experiences. The CBA (with Google) conducted research identifying the most annoying ad formats for consumers and an initial list of better ad standards was created. Find more information here.

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)

The DAA is an independent non-profit organization that establishes and enforces responsible privacy practices across the advertising industry, including social media companies, brands, advertising agencies, ad tech, and publishers. The DAA was founded in 2010 by the 4A’s, ANA, IAB, BBB (Better Business Bureau), DMA (Data & Marketing Association), AAF (American Advertising Federation), and NAI (Network Advertising Initiative).

Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM)

The Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) was created in June 2019 to combat and address the persistent issue of fraudulent and brand-unsafe content across the open web and UGC platforms, as well as the consequential threat to advertisers of reputational harm. As a charter member, the 4A’s has worked in concert with our members and with the WFA, ANA, BSI and MRC (among others) to make the open web a safer and more hospitable place for advertisers and consumers alike. To that end, the 4A’s supports both the overall objectives of GARM and the contributions of its four main working groups:

  • Advancing Shared Language + Standards
  • Clarify Platform Safe Content Policies
  • Create Accessible Controls for Monetization
  • Educate Operators + Stakeholders

Additionally, the 4A’s is leading the effort to bring GARM’s brand-safety and suitability standards into alignment with the Advertiser Protection Bureau’s Brand Suitability Framework and Brand Safety Floor and create a set of commonly shared standards and taxonomies.

It is through the efforts and contributions of the 4A’s and GARM that the three pillars of brand safety – visibility, transparency, and control – and a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem can be achieved.

Media Ratings Council (MRC)

The MRC is currently working on a number of drafts including the Brand Safety Guidelines and Media Audit Guidelines. They have recently finalized the Digital Audio Measurement Standard, Digital Audience Measurement Standard and Digital Video Impression Measurement Guidelines.

Read the 4A’s response to Nielsen’s revised TV ratings methodology here.

Ways of Working

Fair Play Charter

The Fair Play Charter is an important self-governing pledge among Media Agencies/Buyers for fairness and equitable treatment of minority-owned and targeted media. It was developed and socialized in the 4A’s Media Leadership Council (MLC) and reflects their commitment to “Fair Play” in media buying practices. The FCC also publicly supported the effort at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) conference on February 6th in Washington, D.C. For the details of the Fair Play Charter, please see this link.

Principles of Conduct on Media Transparency

Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct outlines common goals and modern industry practices surrounding the issue of media transparency. The nine principles address transparency in working relationships among clients, agencies and the media in three specific areas:

  • Client/agency relationships for U.S. media planning and buying services
  • Separate commercial relationships between agencies and media vendors and other suppliers
  • Client/agency governance
  • Agency Advertising Assurance Pledge

Read more here.


Programmatic 101 Webinar

The Keys to Programmatic Advertising Webinar

Magazine Tells & Sells Webinar

Thought Leadership


The Media, Tech & Data team has produced multiple whitepapers on various industry topics from data-driven TV, to building a mobile tech stack. Over the past year the Media Measurement Committee partnered with Sequent Partners and the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) to produce thought leadership on attribution. The first paper was an overview on attribution and market mix modeling and the second paper provided a comparison of leading providers of attribution solutions.



The 4A’s Local Video & Audio Committee issued a POV in January 2018 regarding the incorporation of Live +1 into Nielsen’s reported data streams. With the help of research done by the TVB (Television Bureau of Advertising), the committee was able to come to the conclusion that Live +1 is a more accurate representation of consumers’ current viewing habits, especially with the rise of mobile device viewership and its effect on latency.

Google User ID

To enhance user privacy in support of GDPR, on April 27th Google announced that as of May 25, 2018, the User ID would no longer be included data transfer files in the EU. This has significant implications because many agencies use the User ID for tracking, targeting and attribution. The change will eventually be rolled out worldwide . The Media, Tech & Data team put together a summary of implications and alternative solutions in a short summary to be found here.

Mid-Sized Agency Weekly Newsletter

The Media, Tech & Data team provides a weekly media newsletter specifically focused on news and issues that could impact mid-sized agencies. Topics that have been covered include GDPR, Google User ID changes, member challenges, Mid-Sized Agency Committee Meeting recaps, and Broadcast TV Upfronts. Email Ashwini Karandikar to be added to the mailing list.

Media Channels

Our resources and research can give you some necessary clarity.

Custom Consultations

The Interchange

Interchanges are a great resource for any size agency, as they allow members to receive anonymous peer input on an issue, challenge, or question an agency is facing. Any 4A’s member can ask a question to be sent out as an anonymous survey to one or more of our media committees. We allow at least one week for responses to come back and then issue the responses after the agreed-upon end date. As referenced earlier, a member may anonymously survey any one of our committees (to see the list of committees please visit our committee section above).

If you would like an interchange to be sent out on your behalf, please reach out to [email protected].

Media, Tech & Data Team Help

The team will advise members on questions they have and provide consultative advice as appropriate. If you have any questions, please reach out to the media team at [email protected].


4A’s national conferences are the industry standard for learning, upskilling, information-sharing & networking. New agency members have access to two complimentary registrations. Get in touch with your member representative to get started on the process.

4A’s Decisions 20/20

In 2019 the Data Summit was expanded into the two-day
Decisions 20/20. Topics from across the industry will be covered through a combination of presentations, debates, leadership conversations, panel discussions and interactive work sessions. Topics will include advertising assurance, supply chain issues, cross channel targeting and measurement, implications of blockchain on advertising, innovations in media planning, data privacy and more.

Please note that in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the 4A’s has shifted Decisions 20/20 to 2021. Find out more up-to-date information on the official website.

4A’s Advertising Assurance Forum

The Advertising Assurance Forum took place on Monday, March 19th, 2018, at Horizon Media’s offices in NYC with senior leaders from the major holding groups and independent agencies in the industry. At this meeting, there was a clear goal: start the conversation on the importance of addressing Advertising Assurance risks and identify ways the industry can work together to protect advertisers and consumers from the current brand safety risks in digital advertising. There was great discussion in the room, including defining the need to develop an industry agreed upon “floor” set for brand safety and bringing the consumer to the forefront of the conversation, since consumer confidence has been eroding due to brand safety concerns. Read the full recap here. Please note that the filmed sessions are on the 4A’s YouTube channel, while several interviews from the event are viewable on Beet.TV.

4A’s Data Summit 2018

This annual conference took place on February 6th in NYC with topics including how different types of agencies use data to achieve meaningful insights and strategy, data complexity, a marketer’s perspective on data, GDPR implications, among others. Scott Hagedorn, CEO of Hearts & Science, opened up the conference with a keynote around bots & fraud, and called for an increase in accountability. In addition, George Ivie of the MRC gave an update on the work the council is doing, as well as the MMA presenting their new data map. Please see the complete 4A’s recap here.

4A’s Accelerate 2018

The annual flagship 4A’s conference previously known as Transformation was re-launched in 2018 as Accelerate, with a focus on celebrating creativity and its impact on commerce and influence on culture. The media team announced the Advertiser Protection Bureau, which helps agencies across holding groups and major independents connect with each other when they see an ad in an unsafe environment. There were some great speakers, including John Leguizamo and Glenn Singleton, so please take a look at the full report to get a comprehensive recap.

Agency Job Descriptions

The 4A’s maintains a large collection of standardized agency job descriptions, representing roles common within our industry.

To better find the right talent to fill key agency positions, the 4A’s makes available to our members detailed agency job descriptions, organized by department/discipline. These descriptions have been compiled from actual member employment offerings, and have been modified to remove specific organizational references.

We also have additional job descriptions beyond those posted here. For additional information or requests for sample job descriptions, please contact the 4A’s Business Intelligence & Insights team at [email protected].

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Join the Member Community

Joining one of our 30+ member committees is one of the most effective, valuable ways to feel the power of member-to-member engagement.

4A’s Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB)Committee

The Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB) was launched in April 2018 to support goals defined at the 4As Advertiser Assurance forum. The APB consists of brand safety leaders across leading holding companies and agencies. The group meets weekly with the goal of creating a transparent, brand-safe, and sustainable environment for advertisers, consumers and publishers. Since its inception, the APB has played a leading role in the conversation around brand safety and suitability, including the creation of the Brand Safety Floor and Suitability Framework, the Cross-Industry Call to Action, the Misinformation/Disinformation whitepaper, and the Business as Unusual webinar Brand Safety & News in the Age of COVID-19.  To learn more please see this link.

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar for more information.

Digital Operations & Technology (DOT) Committee

The Digital Operations and Technology Committee is dedicated to demystifying the digital supply chain and promoting transparency in the digital marketplace. Acting as advocates for the agency operations community, DOT will provide internal and external education and focus on key digital operations issues and technologies as they arise. The Committee will work closely with partner 4A’s Committees and Task Groups to enable the development of best practices. DOT will also help shape 4A’s positions on these important issues, collaborating within the 4A’s and with the ANA, IAB, TAG, MRC and other industry bodies to support the growth and development of digital marketing communications.

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar for more information.

Media Measurement Committee

This committee is focused on cross-media measurement with its initiatives in alignment with 3MS goals. They also focus on reviewing, challenging, and providing innovative suggestions for the advertising industry’s current and emerging measurement, information, and research systems.

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar to find out more.

Local Video & Audio Committee

This committee represents local video & audio buying community as it pertains to conducting business with stations, media sales organizations, research and technology suppliers, and any other parties the buying community interacts. The committee will provide thought leadership on relevant issues, topics, and solutions for delivery as the landscape changes.

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar for more information.

Out-of-Home Committee

This committee is primarily centered around reviewing industry procedures and recommending improvements. They will promote education, advocacy, measurement, and stewardship for the larger 4A’s member community.

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar for more information.

Programmatic & Automation Committee

The purpose of the Programmatic & Automation Committee is to identify and promote best practices and leading technologies in the pursuit of a transparent and balanced programmatic ecosystem.

      • Transparency of fees and auction dynamics
      • Promotion of robust anti-fraud protocols (Brand Safety & Suitability; viewability standards)
      • Supply Path Optimization
      • Application of Distributed Ledger Technology and Supply-Chain Objects to supply-chain transparency and optimization (Privacy compliance & verification, Smart contracts & reconciliation applications)
      • Consistency of measurement/transaction (universal currency) across channels
      • Addressability in the absence of third-party cookies

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar to find out more.

Identity Management Committee

The purpose of the Identity Management Committee is to encourage and promote the development of a single, persistent, privacy-compliant cross-device identifier to empower robust audience creation, measurement, multi-touch attribution and frequency management while adhering to the privacy guidelines and principles set forth by the 4A’s, IAB, DAA and others.

      • Adhere to the principles of Do Not Track, AdChoices, CCPA and others
      • Evaluate existing identity-resolution technologies
      • Assess the viability and privacy-compliance of new and emerging technologies

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar to find out more.

Next Generation (Print) Committee

This committee creates a free forum for the exchange of information among the member agencies and to serve in an ambassadorial capacity to the many brands within the magazine & newspaper publishing community, as these become expressed through all of their forms (both traditional and digitized).

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar to find out more.

Mid-Sized Agency Media Directors Committee

This committee is composed of mid-sized member agencies that have an active media practice. The committee’s main goal is to exchange information between committee members, facilitate larger industry discussion, and educate committee members on new offerings, technologies, platforms, and vendors.

Reach out to Ashwini Karandikar to find out more.

Media Leadership Council

The 4A’s Media Leadership Council [MLC] represents the interests of the media discipline and partners with the global marketing community on key industry issues. Its purpose is to promote and enhance media’s profile and reputation, share best practices within the wider marketing community, and promote people development, diversity, equity and inclusion. The MLC will anticipate, provide direction and thought-leadership around all developments in the media industry.

Reach out to Marla Kaplowitz to find out more.