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