M&E Connections

David Webster Dole, Creator of ISCI, Dead at 101

By Chris Tribbey

David Webster Dole, creator of the Industry Standard Coding Identification (ISCI), the precursor to today’s Ad-ID industry standard for identifying ad assets for broadcast, print and digital across all media platforms, passed away Jan. 28 in Bloomington, MN. He was 101.

The ISCI system was adopted as the industry standard for all TV commercials in 1970, with its eight-character code embraced by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) and others. Dole sold ISCI to 4As and the ANA in 1992.

A 1932 graduate of West High School in Minneapolis, he began working for ad firm Henri Hurst & McDonald in Chicago in 1937, before moving to New York to work for TV and radio ratings measurement firm C.E. Cooper. He would come back to Chicago to work as a VP for ad agency Leo Burnett Co., until his retirement in the 1970s.

Ad-ID’s chief growth officer Harold Geller said in a statement that he had been in contact with Dole over the years, and called him “ vital, active and brilliant right up to the end.”

Dole is survived by three sons: Brian Dole in Eden Prairie, Minn.; Kevin and wife Marion Dole in Sherman Oaks, Calif.; and Gary and wife Cyndi Dole in Naperville, Ill.; six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine, brother Gordon Dole, and sister Dorothye Reinhardt.

Funeral services were held Feb. 6 in Minneapolis. In lieu of flowers, in keeping with Dole’s wishes, donations in his honor will benefit the 4A’s High School Initiatives, including The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) and The Manhattan Early College School for Advertising (MECA).

“David was an early innovator in this work in advertising and these institutions fit his profile,” David’s son Kevin Dole said in a statement.

Donations can be made online here, or can be mailed to the 4A’s Foundation, David Dole Memorial Fund, 1065 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y., 10018.