5-Word Webbys Recap

FIA at The Webby Awards

“Amber Could Have Been Saved” is the 5-word speech given last night by Sheriff Dee Anderson in New York City as he…

Posted by Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

View the full post on Facebook


xAd + FIA: Real-Time Accuracy When It Matters Most

You know the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you can’t find something important. Maybe it’s your house keys or your wedding band or your cellphone. Whatever it is that’s missing, it sets you off down a trail of questions. “Where is it?” “What was I last doing?” “Where would I have put it?” Until you find what you’re missing –you’re tormented. Now try to imagine what that feeling of torment and panic would be like if it wasn’t an object missing – it was your child. In this type of situation, nothing matters more than finding your child, and now the latest in mobile technology can help you do just that.

When a child goes missing, the most important time to find them is within the first 48 hours. From then on, the odds are against you. Given this short window for successful recovery, the ability to reach those around the abduction site and local community are crucial. We know that speed and accuracy matters in a recovery situation like this and xAd can help: in less than half the time it takes to blink an eye (80 milliseconds), xAd can provide tailored messages to audiences in a distinct local area within an accuracy of up to 50m.

AMBER Alerts have used geographically targeted information to reach people through the radio, TV, road signs, and online. However, abductions often take place when the child is out of the home. As a result, these media have limited ability to reach individuals who are nearby the abduction site. xAd can reach individuals on their mobile devices, differentiating whether someone was at the location of interest, designated area during the incident or within the search vicinity perimeter. xAd enables AMBER alerts to provide the most accurate messages to people who can help recover a child during the time that matters most.

The AMBER Alerts (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) system was created in 1996 in Texas, and became a national effort in 2002.

As consumers’ behavior shifted, AMBER alerts expanded to online advertising, thanks in part to Federation for Internet Alerts (FIA). Since launching in May 2011, FIA, in partnership with NCMEC, has delivered almost 400 million dynamic AMBER Alert impressions, served to millions of people in the designated areas.

As members of FIA, xAd will leverage its location technology platform to reach two-thirds of the smartphone users in the U.S. monthly, through 30,000+ apps and across up to 300 billion available impressions. With the scale of mobile device penetration and precision of location data, xAd enables AMBER Alerts to automatically reach people in the targeted areas.

On behalf of xAd, we’re proud to be a partner of FIA and NCMEC to help prevent and recover abducted children – doing important work for years to come.

Contributed by Monica Ho, Head of Marketing Infrastructure at xAd

What Would You Do?

When I was a kid, a friend’s little brother was abducted by a stranger. A group of us were playing in the park after school and suddenly Keith wasn’t there. Instead, Keith got into the back of a van idling nearby and drove off with a stranger. We ran home and told the grown ups what happened, “Keith got into a car with a stranger and they drove away.” Police were called, a search took place, and fortunately the ending of the story was a happy one for Keith and his parents.

Years later, I’m the grown up and there’s nothing more important to me than my kids. I do as much as I can to make them happy, help them succeed, and most importantly, keep them safe. I can’t imagine hearing a more terrifying sentence than the one we delivered to Keith’s parents. As terrifying as it is to think about my child being abducted, I know I wouldn’t want to rely on milk cartons or phone trees to get them back. I’d want to utilize the most technologically advanced resources possible, send messages to anyone who might have seen them, and find people where they’d have no choice but to look. If you’re a parent, and reading this, imagine how you’d feel and what you’d do.

Thankfully, there is technology that can help in these frightening situations where minutes count, and it’s sitting on most desks, or residing on most persons in America. According to a Kleiner-Perkins study published last year, Americans spend an average of over three hours a day on their smartphones, plus another hour and a half on their personal computers. So if you want to get an important message through to someone, catching them in front of one of these devices is the way to do it.

According to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau study, advertisers spent $12.4 Billion in the third quarter of 2014 alone. The number keeps growing quarter over quarter, year after year, because digital advertising is an incredibly effective way for brands to reach the right customer, in the right place, at the right time. The billions prove it. FIA is how we can put this same, effective technology to work for as important a cause as I can imagine – our kids.

By partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Internet technology companies use their resources to do what they’re best at – getting important messages out to the right people. The NCMEC provides a picture of the missing child, and information about a vehicle that might be involved in their abduction, and ad technology companies spread the word. This timely messaging increases the chances of finding someone’s child and returning them home to their parents.

The fact that business rivals put healthy competition aside to help reunite parents with missing children demonstrates the difference FIA makes in our communities. Our collective efforts and donations of our technology and ingenuity make the world a better and safer place everyday.


Contributed by Ari Levenfeld, Sr. Director of Privacy and Inventory Quality at Rocket Fuel Inc.

Building a United Industry to Protect the Public | Meeting with Media Leadership Council

Display advertising isn’t just about trying to drive sales for an advertiser; it’s about communicating a message.

Federation of Internet Alerts (FIA) relays display alerts for serious events such as child abductions, the imminent threat of tornadoes or tsunamis, and other hazards. FIA relies on our partnerships with organizations to help allocate display impressions for urgent messages in impacted areas.

On March 4th a representative from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Child’s (NCMEC) along with fellow FIA colleagues and I attended a Media Leadership Council (MLC) meeting in New York City to spread the word of FIA, and gain support from the industry. MLC is comprised of top media agencies whose primary responsibility is to review and assess major media and communication issues, and drive positive change throughout the display advertising industry—this was the perfect audience to introduce FIA’s initiatives.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. MLC members were in support of uniting our industry with FIA and the discussion was full of heartwarming questions and comments.

We urged MLC members to reach out to their Ad Network and Exchange contacts to attend our FIA forum at NCMEC headquarters to discuss FIA’s critical importance, our success, and how we can continue to unite as an industry to protect the public.

When the goal is to distribute life saving information, the decision is clear: Together we have started a movement. Help us unite further—reach out today and learn how you can help spread awareness and protect the public.

Contributed by Lauren Giuliani, Account Development Manager at Conversant Media



FIA Visits The White House


My friend and FIA colleague, Jason Bier called me a few months ago to discuss an invitation to the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day – a think tank on how technology can help lessen the impact of severe weather. It took us all of a nanosecond to decide that we had to be there and let the stakeholders know how FIA’s technology can help get people out of harms way.

On that day, we found ourselves outside the White House in a line the length of which would rival any Disneyland ride. We shuffled through multiple security checkpoints, including identification authentication, x-rays, sniffer dogs and an undoubtedly very careful character analysis through a one-way mirror. Then we were in – armed with our neck tags and the room number of our first meeting. Except there was no such corresponding room, just hundred of yards of empty marble corridors and closed doors with brass plaques that read – “Personal Security for the President of the United States.” There was no way I was going to knock on one of those doors and ask for directions.

We eventually found our room and spent an interesting morning with academics, first responders, researcher and app developers, brainstorming how we can use technology to lessen the impact of severe storms. Attendees were asked to identify themselves. When it came to my turn there were more than a few puzzled glances, I imagine wondering how an advertising executive was going to contribute to the discussion. I explained that we use that same advertising technology to precisely geotarget people in the path of a severe storm, alerting them within microseconds of receiving a request so that they can get out of harms way. After that, there was an instant and considerable interest in the contribution FIA can make. It must have been well received, because we were invited to participate in follow up sessions.

In the afternoon, we attended talks by app developers and tech vendors mainly focused on how to help communities recover after a storm like Sandy. While FIA technology is centered on how to warn people of impending severe weather, attendees were very interested in what we are doing.

It was an incredibly valuable day. We made some great contacts and got a strong sense that this is the start of an ongoing conversation about how we can use our technology to help protect property and save lives.

Contributed by John Montgomery, COO of GroupM & Chairman of the 4A’s Media Leadership Council

Presentation at the NAI Summit

On May 20th, FIA had the opportunity to present to members of the Network Advertising Initiative, NAI. The NAI is a leading self-regulatory association comprised of third party network advertisers who are committed to promoting the health of electronic commerce and, most importantly, increasing consumer confidence in the online ecosystem. Representatives from Conversant and Specific Media, two of FIA’s Partners, spoke to the audience about the history and formation of FIA and the work that advertising technology companies are doing to save lives. The summit also included a conversation with FTC Commissioner, Julie Brill and a panel discussion with senior staff members from the Hill, moderated by Senator Byron L. Dorgan.


We had the honor of presenting FIA to the heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and their Office of Disability Coordination today. We shared our vision of how the emergency messages that FIA is already serving will grow to become accessible to those with special needs – specifically noting how it could work with screen readers for the blind community.

There were five other presenters who also shared their visions for accessible warnings, with ideas ranging from iconography to warning apps that featured user generated content. There was even a language-translating app created by middle school students.

We received a lot of positive feedback on our presentation, including some kind words from the event coordinator. We have more work to do in order to be functioning in an accessible manner, but there are an ever-growing number of people who are very excited about what we are doing and want to help.

Overall it was a very inspiring and thought-provoking event.


We have great news to announce at FIA – we’ve joined as a member of Oasis.

Oasis is “a non-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society.” (oasis-open.org). FIA will be assisting Oasis with regulations and guidelines for alerting authorities. We’re excited to be a member and will keep you updated on the good that comes.