VNU is first U.K. Web publisher to get ABC audit

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VNU Business Publications, publisher of computer and business management publications, claims that its U.K. Internet site is the first to receive an Audit Bureau of Circulations audit. The audit of, VNU's online editions of 18 business and finance publications, recorded 188,306 page impressions for the month of February. "Just as ABC audits became the 20th century standard for print publishing, so I believe that ABC//electronic audits will be the Internet model of the next millennium based on industry agreed standards," said Richard Foan, head of ABC//electronic.

The U.K. market is going through the same turmoil regarding terminology that has plagued the U.S. Internet measurement industry.

John Barnes, publisher of new media at VNU, is critical of relying on "hits" to measure Web traffic. "Hits, by their very nature, are dishonest and if publishers are using hits as the only measure of their site then they are short-changing their users and advertisers. Hits mean nothing because they measure both requested and non-requested information on a Web site and that can include a dozen graphics that appear on the opening page. Page impressions, where specific information and pages are requested, give the true picture."

Sarah du Heaume, managing director of Just Media, which has placed advertising space on VNU's, welcomes the move. "It is high time for Internet sites which create income from advertising to make themselves accountable as other media are."

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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