Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

A campaign has been initiated by to encourage the active
participation of the UK's internet industry in developing common standards
and best practice. OSCA, the online standards campaign for advertising, was
unveiled in London on 4th September 2001, at a launch conference discussing
the positions and viewpoints within the industry at the moment.

OSCA is not an industry body, but rather an attempt to open up debate in the
broader market, to ensure that existing industry bodies have access to the
opinions of as wide a proportion of the UK internet market as possible.
Coverage is available at the OSCA microsite at, where the results of the campaign's initial
survey, news, features, opinion pieces and discussion forums will be hosted.
The aim of the campaign, supported by market leaders such as Guardian
Unlimited, Lycos Europe,, WebOptimiser and Lateral, is to
galvanise the industry to take a more active role in the development of
standards and best practice for all.

There is no doubt that the issue of standards within the internet is an
important one, with one of the most obvious issues raised by speakers at the
conference being that the complexity of what the internet can offer
(combined with the complexities of the technology) means that advertisers,
media owners and agencies are frequently using the same language to mean
different things.

OCSA was launched on the back of an industry survey, run from the site, asking the industry for their views on where things
lie. With a response rate of 8%, it is clear that this is an issue of the
moment within the market. Copies of the full report are downloadable from
the OSCA site, but the headline data is as follows;

* Over 80% of the respondents felt that it was extremely or
very important to establish standards for measurement online.

* Over 70% felt it is extremely or very important to establish
standards for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising.

* Over 70% of respondents felt that 3rd party auditing was
extremely or very important, although only 1/3 of site owners state that
third parties audit their traffic.

* Most interestingly, over 50% of respondents within the
industry felt that existing availability of reliable website traffic
information is poor or very poor, and an even higher percentage responded
that reliable information on advertising effectiveness is poor or very poor.

Simon Waldman of Guardian Unlimited made the point that the industry is
young and struggling to grow but warned that dangers lie in an external
perception of the internet as a fragmented, bickering community. Wayne
Arnold of Profero continued this by insisting that the industry get active.
Currently we have third party auditing (which carries its own problems) and
panel-based research, which is frequently considered to consist of too small
numbers to effectively cover such a fragmented market. More importantly, it
fails to address the issue of work usage, a primary driver of UK internet
use. Ross Sleight of Zhong polled the audience and discovered that everyone
attending felt that a combination of site-centric and user-centric data is
vital in understanding this developing market - the challenge is working out
how this should be done. The first step towards achieving this is to open up
the debate.

If you want to know more about OSCA, current web metrics or just want to
make your point - go to the OSCA site at and
have your say.

If you'd like any further information, or would like to speak to the
sponsors, please contact Davina Lines or Robert Venes on 020 7557 4850.

Editors Notes:

About Guardian Unlimited

Guardian Unlimited is one of the UK's most popular news and information
websites, combining the editorial integrity of the Guardian with the
immediacy, depth and interactivity of the net. The network of sites covers
News, Film, Travel, Politics, Money, Books, Education, Jobs, Work, Shopping,
Sport and Football as well as,
and The site now has over 2.6 million unique users
and registers 30.9 million page impressions a month (ABCe July 2001), making
it one of the country's most visited sites. Guardian Unlimited was the first
major online publisher committed to auditing its traffic and user figures.

Guardian Unlimited has won a host of awards including British Press Awards,
Online News Service of the Year; Revolution Awards, Best Use of New Media
and Media Week Awards, Online Media Owner of the Year.

About Lateral

Lateral is a small, but perfectly formed, independent web design
consultancy, that packs a punch with heavyweight clients.

UK based Lateral, established in June 1997, has evolved into a unique web
consultancy that focuses on providing their clients with creative strategies
and then executing them, using a support network of symbiotic business
partnerships with specialist companies and their
own network of companies.

Their pioneering expertise and professional approach has attracted
recognition both within the new media industry, having been awarded several
times for their work, as well as the consumer market as can be seen by their
client list.

For more information on Lateral please contact Karen Durham-Diggins at

About Lycos Europe

Lycos Europe is the leading European Internet portal. Its universal network
of premium Internet brands combines connectivity, content and community
services. On any day, millions of web users choose Lycos Europe to navigate,
communicate or publish their own content. Currently, 1 in 3 users in Europe
uses at least one Lycos brand, making Lycos Europe a prime destination for
online advertisers and e-commerce partners.

Lycos Europe has a pan-European presence with local language and content web
sites in 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and

About is a content and community site, serving the needs of the
busy UK internet professional. With an archive of over 20,000 articles, provides daily news and information across the online
investment, media and marketing and technology sectors as well as a series
of highly-respected monthly events. If you require any further information
on the company, please contact Felicia Jackson via email at

About Limited is the leading European Internet and mobile data provider of
sports content, community, commerce and betting. is the most
visited European sports site, with European coverage in English of football,
rugby, Formula One, rally, cricket, boxing, sailing, tennis and golf as well
as all sports in local languages in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. is the primary sports content provider in the United Kingdom for
AOL, BT Internet, The Financial Times', in Germany for Freenet and
GMX, in Italy for Virgilio, in Spain for and in five countries for
Lycos Europe. also has commercial partnerships with a number of
leading sports sites, such as Manchester United (, the Open
Championship ( and the French National Olympic Team
( and is the official sports partner of (Official Wimbledon Championships Site). also
recently announced that its wholly owned subsidiary SCG Enterprises Limited,
has been named the official betting partner of both ITV's Football site and
F1 site located at and This new site
will be linked to from the two premium ITV sites and will allow
contextualised gambling for users.

About WebOptimiser

WebOptimiser was founded in 1996 with the mission to help its customers
enjoy a better, faster return on their Net investment

The company offers a unique portfolio of ethical offerings, from a Web
Intelligence service for research and analysis of a company and its
competitors¹ online positioning, performance and potential, to AI Web
Counter, a dedicated 24/7 online traffic monitoring centre which offers a
wealth of visitor science data, resources and tools.

As a result, WebOptimiser has become the web optimisation partner of choice
of many of the world¹s most respected and influential on and offline brands,
who enjoy proven and guaranteed results, from increased awareness and
qualified traffic to faster, more intuitive and interactive web sites, lower
user acquisition costs and a higher volume and value of transactions.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Netimperative in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit