|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
BPA Group Worldwide is an American company that provides independent, third-party audits of audience claims 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. The company is a not-for-profit, (501(c)(6) organization, and is the largest auditor of media in the world in terms of membership, which consists of media owners, marketer companies and advertising agencies. BPA is similar to Alliance for Audited Media, providing independent, third-party verified data that media owners provide to media buyers and advertisers.
The company operate the "iCompli" brand, documenting compliance to defined standards. iCompli verifies adherence to the recommended guidelines of industry bodies[which?] and government regulations[which?], as well as self-declared or internal policies and controls[which?].
In 1931, Controlled Circulation Audit Inc (CCA) opened in New York City. 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. In the same year that they opened their first satellite office in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1970 BPA completed its first audit of a European title, Vision. In 1976, the Supplementary Audit of product usage and buying influence was introduced. This report allowed publishers to provide advertisers with demographics of which products their readers were currently using, and their role in making future purchases.
In 1980, the first audit of pass-along individuals was conducted for Architectural Record. This report used 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, California.
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.
BPA changed the business model they had operated under for the previous seventy years and replaced on-site audits at clients' offices with clients shipping them "boxed" audits of materials required. This was now possible since the majority of clients records were being stored electronically and accessible via the internet. By 2002, BPA downsized its satellite offices in the US and moved its headquarters to Shelton, Connecticut. By 2003, more than 70% of all US audits were "boxed" and sent to Connecticut.
BPA launched its Brand Report product in 2008. The statement allows media owners to report all of their audience "touch points" on a single statement.
BPA Worldwide currently performs nearly 3,800 audits in over 20 countries.