NEWS: International audit standard ‘is on the cards’ for Net sites

An international audit standard for measuring activity on Internet sites could be close to agreement, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

An international audit standard for measuring activity on Internet sites

could be close to agreement, according to the Audit Bureau of

Circulations.



The International Federation of Audit Bureaux (IFAB) is meeting in

Washington this week to hammer out a single international standard, with

a decision expected by early next week.



The ABC has said the first audit certificates could be issued in the UK

within the next eight weeks. It has already signed up five major

companies that are interested in having their sites audited by the ABC.



However, failure to come to agreement in the US this week could spell

disaster. The ABC in the UK is worried that if steps are not taken

swiftly, the job of auditing sites will be left to software companies,

which the ABC fears are less likely to be as objective and scientific as

an audit bureau.



Simon Sabel, who is heading the ABC Interactive initiative, commented:

‘Agreement has to be reached now. If we do not agree it could fall

apart.



‘At the moment the ABC has a lead but without a decision it would mean

that everyone and his dog could get in on the act and start offering Web

auditing.’



The idea of the Washington meeting is to agree some commonality, Sabel

said. ‘You will be able to compare one Website to another, rather than a

Website to a magazine, to see which are the most popular sites,’ he

explained.



The moves come amid pressure from ad agencies and advertisers for a

single professional auditing standard for Websites. John Hooper, the

director-general of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers,

said the establishment of a single standard had to be the way forward.



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