BPA, I/PRO Merge Audit Services

Non-profit auditing group Business of Performing Audits (BPA) and Web auditing company Internet Profiles Corp. (I/PRO) announced on Monday that they would combine their third-party Web site auditing services into a single audit.

The move will essentially take BPA out of the auditing business. The combined offering will verify traffic to Web sites through analysis of census data generated through log files or page tags. I/PRO will handle all functions of the service, from data processing to the human auditing functions, while BPA will certify the process and market it.

“The difference is that we’re consolidating both the offerings,” said Bill Matthews, I/PRO’s president. “It was basically felt that we wanted to utilize the BPA’s strong reputation.”

All current customers of both services will be migrated to the new combined offering immediately. BPA and I/PRO audit traffic for about 100 media companies, including The Washington Post Co., TMP Interactive, and CMP.

The new audit, called “BPA Interactive Audit by I/PRO,” will offer products that validate everything from circulation to content to traffic for particular Web sites. Matthews said I/PRO wanted to emphasize the audit side of its business over its measurement and analysis services, in order to remain open to working with other Internet measurement firms.

BPA’s move follows a determination in December by the Audit Bureau of Circulation to merge its interactive standalone unit, ABCi, into its regular services. Both come as the Web outgrows its early days as a separate medium, and advertisers look for data that can be compared across media.

As a result of the shift, I/PRO users will have the option join BPA, if they are not already members. New users will automatically become members.

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