Rivals.net campaigns for universal website auditing

Rivals.net has written to more than 1,000 websites as the first stage of a “name and shame” campaign to encourage companies in the industry to have their sites audited.

In the letter, sent out at the beginning of this week, Rivals.net chief executive Marcus Leaver issues an “audit challenge” to business-to-consumer sites. He challenges them to publish a recognised industry audit by September 1, and at least quarterly thereafter. Sites that are not audited bring the industry into disrepute, says Leaver.

Rivals.net says it has the support “in principle” of senior figures at IPC Electric, Carat Interactive and Guardian Unlimited for its campaign, which it plans to develop into a countdown to September 1. After that date it will lobby advertisers and agencies to boycott websites that still haven’t introduced auditing.

While not directly endorsing Rivals.net’s campaign, Danny Meadows-Klue, chairman of the IAB, says: “Auditing is a good thing. We want to see lots of auditing The importance of auditing online is lower than it is for print media but at the same time it offers a spirit of transparency which is commendable.”

The IAB issued guidelines recently in which it recommends that websites have an audit every six months as a minimum, or ideally every quarter. A list of websites that are audited can be found at the IAB’s site, abuk.net

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