BPA Group Worldwide audits the circulation of business-to-business and consumer magazines. It also provides audit services for newspapers, Web sites, events, email newsletters, digital magazines and other advertiser-supported media produced by its members. Membership comes from the media owners, marketer companies and advertising agencies. The organization is a not-for-profit, (501c6) and the largest auditor of media in the world in terms of membership. BPA is similar to Audit Bureau of Circulations, providing independent, third-party verified data that media owners provide to media buyers and advertisers.
BPA Worldwide audited data provides media owners and other private agencies with assurance that they are reaching the right audiences. BPA's iCompli brand documents compliance to defined standards. Customized audit engagements are performed by BPA staff auditors. iCompli verifies adherence to the recommended guidelines of industry bodies and government regulations, as well as self-declared or internal policies and controls.
In 1931, Controlled Circulation Audit Inc opened its doors in New York, New York. (CCA). Their first audit, Drug Topics, was completed in September of that year.
In 1946, they became the first firm to equally audit titles that practiced paid circulation, non-paid circulation, or a combination thereof. The first BPA audit to report paid and controlled circulation on single report was released in 1953.
In 1954, the CCA changed its name to BPA, which at the time stood for Business Publications Audit of Circulation, Inc. It was in this same year that they opened their first satellite office in Chicago, Illinois.
BPA became truly "worldwide" in 1970 after completing the audit of Vision - the first European title. In 1976, the Supplementary Audit of product usage and buying influence was introduced. This report allowed publishers to provide advertisers with demographics out what products their readers were currently using, as well as their role in making future purchases.
In 1980, the first audit of pass-along individuals is conducted for Architectural Record. This new report uses surveys to qualified subscribers to determine how many additional individuals also read their copy of the publication.
In 1985, BPA opened their West Coast office in Los Angeles.
By 1990, the count of business publication members reached 1,200 members. In 1995, BPA was changed to BPA International with the addition of their first overseas office in London. In 1998, the Canadian Circulations Audit Board (CCAB) merged with BPA International. With the addition of their audited titles, total media owner membership exceeded 2,500 members and 500 employees.
Entering the new century, BPA decided to change the business model they had operated under for the past seventy years and decided that rather than having auditors travel on-site to perform audits at their clients offices, they would have clients ship them "boxed" audits of materials required. This change was made possible since the majority of clients records were being stored electronically and through the ease of using the internet to communicate. By 2002, BPA downsized its satellite offices in the US and moved its headquarters to Shelton, CT. By 2003, more than 70% of all US audits were "boxed" and sent to Connecticut.
In 2004, BPA International changed its name to BPA Worldwide. This coincided with the opening of an office in Beijing, China. In 2006, they expanded their global reach into the Middle East with an office in Dubai Media City.
BPA launched its Brand Report product in 2008. The statement lets media owners report all of their audience "touch points" on a single statement.
In 2012, BPA opened a branch office in the city of Shenzhen, located in the Guangdong Province of China. BPA opened its first Asia office in Hong Kong in March 2001. The Shenzhen office was opened to better serve the region’s expanding tradeshow market.
BPA Worldwide currently audits more than 2,600 media properties in over 30 countries.
BPA provides products, services, rules and procedures that benefit media sellers and buyers. Products and services include:
- business publication circulation audits
- compliance audits
- consumer magazine circulation audits
- corporate ranking audits
- database audits
- duplication audits
- email newsletter audits
- events audits
- integrated audits
- interactive (Web site) audits
- network reports
- pass-along receivership studies
- postal audits
- subscriber studies audits
- supplementary demographics audits
- unit audits
- social media audits
- mobile data audits
- audits to industry and organizational standards