AOL Selects ABC Interactive to Audit Delivery of Internet Online and Web Advertising

Dulles, VA and Schaumburg, IL, July 7, 1998 - America Online, the world's leading Internet online service, today announced that ABC Interactive, the interactive auditing unit of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), will provide independent ongoing audits of advertisements delivered on the AOL flagship Internet online service and its Web site, AOL.COM, the most popular site on the Web for home users. The initial audit reviewed AOL's ad delivery and record-keeping systems and found them to fairly represent actual activity. As a result, for the month of May, there are no adjustments necessary to AOL data. The audits include two sets of proprietary information: ò A summary Audit Report confirming that total ad impressions served, recorded and reported via AOL's internal measurement system are reliable and in compliance with industry-developed standards. The report measured over 2.5 billion impressions on the AOL service and over 720 million impressions on AOL.COM, the most visited consumer site on the World Wide Web, for the month of May, for a total of over 3.2 billion impressions. ò Advertiser-Specific Audit Reports verifying delivery of individual advertisements, providing independent activity reports to advertisers on particular campaigns, including impressions served, click-throughs and click-through ratios. A key audit finding was that the architecture for AOL's proprietary service provides advertisers a high degree of confidence that the ad was displayed. ABC Interactive is the demonstrated market leader in third-party auditing, providing audit services for the full spectrum of online properties, including web sites, search engines, email delivery systems, chat rooms and Internet broadcasters. The company developed a customized audit for AOL that verified advertising activity, including total and average page impressions, and click-throughs delivered by the proprietary AOL service and Web-based AOL.COM. ABC Interactive's certified audit reports will supplement AOL's existing array of reports, and will be available to advertisers after each new audit period. The summary reports for May are now posted on ABC Interactive's Web site at Subsequent summary reports will be released quarterly. "As the industry leader, one of our primary goals is to ensure that advertisers receive the quantity and quality of information they need to make educated, informed decisions about advertising buys on our service," said Myer Berlow, Senior Vice President of Interactive Marketing for America Online, Inc. "Our relationship with ABC Interactive demonstrates AOL's commitment to provide the best available accountability to our advertisers. The initial audit confirms that AOL meets the very high standards set by ABC Interactive and that advertisers can be confident that the numbers we are reporting for impressions delivered are verified by the industry's leading third party auditor." "AOL's decision to have their internal measurement system audited by ABC Interactive clearly indicates the strength of their commitment to advertisers' need for unbiased proof-of-performance," comments Michael J. Lavery, President and Managing Director of ABC. "It also emphasizes how critical audits are to providing advertisers with complete measurement and reporting information about online activity. We are proud that our audit programs and expertise can provide increased accountability to the advertising community for a service that has the scale of AOL."

Contact Info: