Britain's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has brokered a groundbreaking initiative between media buyers and media sellers with the aim of setting an industry standard for integrated multimedia planning.

The IPA, which represents all mainstream advertising agencies in the UK, plus practitioners of other specialist marketing disciplines, has initiated the TouchPoints Survey for which fieldwork is currently in progress via NOP Research.

The study, conducted under the auspices of the IPA's Media Futures Group, has ten founding (and funding) partners, all anxious to establish their pecking order in today's multimedia firmament. The tensome are: America Online, the BBC, Chrysalis Radio, Emap, Guardian Newspapers, ITV, J C Decaux, News International (a unit of NewsCorp), SMG and Europe's largest ISP Wanadoo.

Says MFG chairman Jim Marshall (of Starcom UK): "It is the first piece of industry research that isn't based on a single medium; it will provide much needed and absurdly overdue inter-media comparisons. It is not surprising that major media owners are displaying a huge degree of interest."

Added Wanadoo group head of sales strategy Helen Gawor: "TouchPoints will be invaluable in supporting media planning and understanding the role different media plays for different groups of people. As technologies such as broadband continue to grow, there are profound changes to the way people consume media. It is paramount that as an industry we have single source media consumption measurement like TouchPoints."

Data sourced from: IPA (UK); additional content by WARC staff