Approximately 50% of the digital ads McCann-Erickson submits are in the TIFF/IT-P1 format, says Brad Mintz, senior vice president and manager of graphic services for McCann-Erickson. About 10% are submitted as PDF/X-1a, 15% native application files and 25% non-standard PDFs, he says.
Surprisingly, its disadvantages notwithstanding, Mintz prefers TIFF/IT-P1 files. He says TIFF/IT-P1 files are the most consistently reproduced and reliable of the bunch. But Mintz admits that McCann-Erickson, like other agencies, is perpetuating the exchange of non-accredited standards with publishers who require ads in non-accredited formats.
When that happens, Mintz fires a warning shot. "We call the pub and try to get added assurances that it will be looked at carefully, and communicate that they understand their place in the responsibility food chain," Mintz says.
TIFF/IT-P1 is the top choice at advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding, in Chicago, says Jim Engel, vice president and executive manager of print production. He estimates 75% of the agency's exchanges with publications are TIFF/IT-P1. However, Engel says his agency's success with this accredited standard is not representative of the advertising on the whole.
That's because Engel's firm does business primarily with long-run, well known consumer titles, published by the likes of CondéNast and Time Inc. These publishers are ahead of the standards adoption curve, he says.
Other agencies and independent advertisers work with lesser-known titles produced by small or niche trade magazine publishers. These markets, which represent the bulk of U.S. magazine publishers, are trailing, Engel says. Indeed, many still require film. Others are locked into native application files, a problem for savvy advertising agencies out to protect their client's brand image.
"They're [native files] are just too risky," Engel says. "I dislike them so much, I'll try to talk the publisher into taking film from me, rather than a native file."