Many of Britain's biggest agencies cannot meet new performance targets set by the IPA - because not enough of their staff are linked to the internet.
More than a third of the UK's top 30 agencies, including Ogilvy & Mather, Lowe Lintas, Bates UK, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper and Grey, have not been accredited as having reached the IPA's Continuous Professional Development Standard.
And this week the IPA blamed insufficient numbers of internet-linked computer screens in agencies as a major reason why 26 of the 68 agencies committed to achieving the standard have so far failed to achieve it.
A major part of the programme calls for agency staffers to interact with the IPA website, on which their activities can be monitored and their working logs archived.
Now the IPA is having to arrange for staff at some agencies seeking accreditation to work through a shared internet source.
Rupert Howell, the IPA president, said: 'With the internet becoming a major medium I find it odd and very surprising that there are still agencies lagging behind.'
To get accreditation agencies must show how their business plans are linked to the development of individual staffers, implement an induction programme enabling new staff to settle in quickly, operate an effective appraisals system and encourage staff to develop skills rather than forcing them to do so.
Ann Murray Chatterton, the IPA's director of training and development, said: 'The fact that some agencies have not yet been accredited is no reflection on their commitment. All are working hard to develop their staff and I'm sure all will be accredited, some as early as next month.'