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ERNST & YOUNG CERTIFIES COX INTERACTIVE WEB TRAFFIC ANALYSIS

Cox Interactive Media (CIM), Atlanta, has announced that Ernst & Young LLP has provided third-party certification of CIMtrack, CIM's internal Web traffic analysis process. The certification verifies that CIMtrack meets audience measurement guidelines established by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Because CIMtrack meets IAB guidelines, CIM advertisers can accurately compare CIM's ad measurement and reporting with IAB, which is the only widely accepted standard for audience measurement on the Web.

"Ernst & Young's certification of our internal technical processes and controls for traffic analysis gives CIM advertisers confidence in the way we measure and report on Internet Web traffic," said Debbie Campbell, CIM vice president of advertising sales. "Our work with Ernst & Young underscores our belief that credible measurement and reporting are critical factors in driving the Web's phenomenal growth as a viable advertising medium."

"It is simply common sense that a robust Internet advertising and commercial business cannot be built on exaggerations and half-truths about audience performance," she continued.

Ernst & Young's report was the first step in CIM's ongoing certification process. Plans call for Ernst & Young to periodically re-examine and report on the controls surrounding CIMtrack in the future.

"Leading-edge Internet enterprises like CIM are seeking process certification to help assure advertisers of the accuracy of their interactive advertising media measurement processes," said Graeme Payne, Southeast Area electronic commerce leader in Ernst & Young's Information Systems Assurance and Advisory Services (ISAAS) practice. "We are strongly committed to working with the interactive media and advertising communities to help establish trustworthy interactive audience measurement processes that are comparable to those used by traditional media. This will drive the growth of Web advertising and help develop electronic commerce."

CIM developed CIMtrack in 1997 because the best of the off-the-shelf Web traffic analysis tools could not support CIM's complex traffic reporting needs across the company's network of local sites. CIM has authored a comprehensive white paper on audience measurement available free to help advertisers understand CIM's audience tracking methodology. (Available via email at comments@cimedia.com)

IAB reports show that first quarter 1998 Web advertising reached $351.3 million, an increase of 271 percent over first quarter 1997. As online advertising spending continues to grow dramatically, advertisers are increasingly seeking independent audits of Web traffic reports.

CIM sought independent process certification because it wanted to demonstrate to advertisers that it was committed to objective and authoritative audience reporting. Process certification also enables very fast turn-around of audience data to CIM advertisers.

Ernst & Young was chosen to provide independent certification of CIMTrack controls because of its information systems experience, its international brand recognition as a trusted third party, its ability to provide dynamic project teams and its advertising measurement and interactive media capabilities.

About Cox Interactive Media

CIM is the nation's largest provider of local content sites on the Internet. The volume of CIM pages read by consumers exceeds the page view performance of any other local site network. To date, this network includes 21 city sites and two specialty sites (www.cimedia.com).

CIM is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., and is headquartered in Atlanta. A leading media company, Cox Enterprises includes Cox Newspapers, Inc. (newspapers, direct mail marketing, book publishing), Cox Broadcasting, Inc. (TV, spot sales, television production, research, publicly-traded Cox Radio, Inc.) and publicly traded Cox Communications, Inc. (cable distribution, programming, broadband communications) in addition to Cox Interactive Media. The company also is the world's largest operator of automobile auctions through Manheim Auctions, providing financial services, government auctions, online services and price guides.

About Ernst & Young LLP

Ernst & Young LLP provides assurance and advisory business services, tax services, and consulting for domestic and global clients. Ernst & Young's Information Systems Assurance and Advisory Services (ISAAS) professionals provide a wide range of information technology-related services, including the following:

-- assessing information system controls;

-- providing electronic commerce trusted third-party certification;

-- evaluating, recommending improvements, and assisting in implementing solutions for information security;

-- assistance in controlling systems under development;

-- providing data analysis, computer forensics, and business continuity planning assistance. Ernst & Young LLP has over 29,000 people in 87 United States cities (www.ey.com).

For more information, call 404/572-1830.
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Publication:Worldwide Videotex Update
Date:Oct 1, 1998
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