The idea for a committee to address the need for standards in measuring interactive magazines and newspapers was born before the advent of the now ubiquitous iPad. In 2009 and leading into 2010, there was much hype the e-reader would take a new form in the not too distant future. This new form would require an open mind about what is a digital edition of a print product. It is likely content would have to be repurposed and designed for delivery platforms and consumer preference. There was no turning back on allowing advertising to be different in digital than print. Circulation rules and definitions, however misunderstood at the time, had to be revisited to prepare for the coming e-reader phenomenon. And so activity was taken within my bureau (as it was in many others) during that pre-iPad period to redefine and prepare for the coming.

I raised the issue with the then IFABC president, Eusebio Serano, (Introl Spain) and encouraged him to establish a committee to undertake a review of IFABC member requirements for digital editions. I was supported in my request by then fellow IFABC board member Gordon Towell (Audit Bureaux Australia). In the fall of 2010 at the General Assembly in Seoul, the committee was created. I agreed to chair. Work began.

It has been nearly a year since the committee was formed. It has met eleven times. And I am grateful to the participants who collaborated unselfishly—never arguing for their current bureau’s position over the greater good for the IFABC members—to build consensus as to what standards should be such that the IFABC could position itself as a thought leader.

When we began, we thought our task was a short term initiative. But as we met we continually expressed ideas which we agreed were too advanced for current market and economic conditions. It was clear to us that this committee has job preservation. This document is a beginning, not an end. We will continue to meet on an as needed basis to keep the guidelines current. Please keep this in mind as you read this draft.

We are anxious to have your feedback on this document so that we can complete it and issue a final version to all members for each to apply within their home bureau.

It is important to note that these guidelines are intended to be a minimum standard for all IFABC members to comply. Each bureau can add to their own rules beyond what the guidelines suggest.

With sincere thanks to the committee participants,


Glenn J Hansen

Committee Chair & President and CEO BPA Worldwide.