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I/Pro to Vet Publishers' Content Policies

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NEW YORK Internet auditing firm I/Pro said it would begin offering a new service to publishers to help them protect advertisers from appearing in objectionable environments.

The new service, called the BrandGuard Content Audit, would give publishers a clean bill of health for the steps they take to make sure image-sensitive brand advertisers do not end up with their ads appearing next to potentially racist, pornographic or otherwise undesirable content.

The San Francisco firm, which acts as a third-party auditor of Web publishers' audience measurements, said it hoped to draw attention to the service in the wake of reports that Yahoo advertisers like State Farm Insurance and Pepsi had ads shown in chat rooms dedicated to luring minors for sex.

"Traditional large advertisers are very concerned," said Allan Kaplan, CEO of I/Pro. "Advertisers want to be sure that they're not being associated with what they don't want to be."

The BrandGuard Content Audit stems from a partnership I/Pro struck with Lexalytics, an Amherst, Mass.-based text-analysis technology that can search through Web sites, blogs, RSS feeds or other digital content for pre-set sensitive topics.