Conversant helped spearhead the Federation for Internet Alerts initiative in 2013. FIA is a collective of ad networks and exchanges that sends out weather warnings and missing-children notifications through Conversant's hub, which draws in the alert data through several publicly-available feeds from law-enforcement entities.
FIA was founded in 2013 by digital ad firm Conversant and media agency giant GroupM. Conversant, formerly known as Valueclick, has been sending AMBER alerts since 2011. In April 2014, the company convened with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other industry representatives to determine the best way for the digital ad industry to facilitate alert messaging in an era when smart phones are supplanting traditional communications media like telephone landlines, TV and radio. It was then that the partners began building the technology and system that would become FIA.
The result is more than 500 million geo-targeted AMBER alerts sent to more than 100 million devices about 686 abductions. The FIA also sent more than 8.5 million tornado warnings. The FIA has been named the winner of this year's Webby for public service and activism in advertising and media.
In addition to the National Weather Service, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other U.S. law enforcement organizations, the system intercepts feeds showing missing child alert information from Intrado, a 9-1-1 communications service that provides data on child abductions including children's photos, location of abduction and suspect information. It also disseminates geographically-targeted alerts from law enforcement in other countries which is standardized using the Common Alerting Protocol.
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