The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising have linked to launch a new research unit, JICNET, to operate a web measurement and research service similar to their extant JICNARS and JICTARS facilities.

IPA director general Hamish Pringle announced the initiative at an IPA new media seminar. He also used the occasion to slam internet publishers and media owners for their tardiness in embracing the ABC//electronic official audit.

Said Pringle: “It may sound obvious, but until now people have been bandying around terms like 'hits' in the industry, which are meaningless. Until clients have confidence in website traffic and user data, this industry is not going to grow."

He also criticised established web measurement specialists MMXI Europe, Neilsen Netratings and Netvalue for lack of coordination in presenting data. “We have compared their sample sizes and research methods and they are not comparable with each other”, accused Pringle. “It's like having three different sets of BARB data — how would you know how to buy and sell your media?"

He continued: “Lets treat the internet in exactly the same way we've treated press and TV. Yes, this is a new medium but the issues are the same. We've been here before.”

One of those pilloried was reciprocally unimpressed. Said NetValue managing director Alki Manias: "We have invited our competitors to sit with us around a table and discuss [the IPA/ISBA venture] and it has not been greeted with a good response."

News source: CampaignLive (UK)