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IQ News: I/Pro Pushes Its System as Ad Accounting Standard

Internet Profiles Corp., or I/Pro, the online measurement firm which once counted A.C. Nielsen as an investor, hopes to impose an advertising industry standard that conforms with a software product it sells to ad agencies.
At the behest of I/Pro, some of these agencies, including Thunder House and Western International Media, last week sent a letter to Web publishers requesting they conform to a standard inherent in Dispatch, a software program that automates elements of online media buying and tracking.”We want to make sure sites come into one common standard,” said Tig Tillinghast of the Redwood City, Calif.-based I/Pro.
Currently, sites file traffic, rates and other advertiser information according to various formats created in-house. Agencies then complete the arduous task of compiling them into a comparable database.I/Pro hopes sites will begin filing according to the way Dispatch files are set up.
Meanwhile, Palo Alto, Calif.-based AdKnowledge recently released a similar product, called MarketMatch Pro, which is used by all Bozell advertising agencies, Interpublic Group of Cos. agencies and Young & Rubicam. AdKnowledge’s David Zinman, director of product management, said there are no plans to ask sites to conform to the MarketMatch format.”One company cannot move a market,” he said.
Most observers expect industry-wide acceptance to come only from a standard recommended by a disinterested third party, but recent attempts have been unsuccessful.
However the problem is solved, it’s clear an answer is desired by agency executives who have complained that amassing the sites’ information is a labor- and cost-intensive task.
Lynn Bolger, senior vice president, Web media director at Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York, will advocate the I/Pro position. “There’s more to a reporting standard than will be addressed by an I/Pro request,” she said, “but it’s a productive first step.”