Online publishers strike deal to provide audited ad figures

Britain’s leading online publishers are to provide audited advertising revenue figures to generate the first accurate measure of the size of the British online ad market.

Twenty-eight online publishers and sales points agreed to push ahead with the plan at last week’s meeting of the Interactive Advertising Group, hosted by Channel 4’s business development manager Mark Lesbirel.

“The intention of the IAG is to appoint an auditor for the provision of ad revenue figures for the UK market,” says Lesbirel.

Tom Bowman, head of ad sales at Microsoft-owned online service provider MSN, welcomes the move to establish accurate ad revenue figures for the industry.

“KPMG did a good survey, estimating ad revenue this year would be about 4m,” he says. “If we could all hand over financial data to a trusted third party, an audited figure may show whether that was a vast under- or over-estimate. But the main point is that we get figures that are accurate, rather than guessed at, which shows the dynamic of growth in the market.”

The group will consider whether to arrange its own auditing system or “piggyback” on the existing arrangement with its US counterpart body IAB, which has hired Coopers & Lybrand to audit industry-wide ad revenues.

Bowman says: “The IAB published ad revenue figures for US sites for the second quarter of 1997 of $214m (130m), 313 per cent up on the same quarter the previous year, and 66 per cent up on the first quarter.

“Because the figures are audited, the marketing industry believes them. And the rapid growth in revenues show it’s a medium which ad agencies cannot afford to ignore.”

The 25 companies also agreed to pay 1,000 subscriptions each to underwrite the hiring of a secretary.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here