Beau Brendler is director of Consumer Reports WebWatch, the Internet integrity division of Consumers Union. He founded WebWatch at Consumers Union in 2002, with more than $5 million in support over five years from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. WebWatch has signed more than 250 companies, organizations and Web sites -- including The New York Times, CNN, Barnes & Noble, Monster.com, the Washington Post, ING, Travelocity, E*Trade, Earthlink and Marriott -- to abide by a list of guidelines for transparency, separation of advertising and editorial content, privacy, security and customer service. WebWatch helped launch and serves as special unpaid consumer adviser to the StopBadware.org project of Harvard University's Berkman Center and Oxford University's Internet Institute.
Brendler came to Consumers Union in May 2001 after five years at ABC News in New York, where he was editorial director and a founder of the ABC News.com Web site. During his tenure in charge of ABC News.com, the newsroom won most of online journalism's most prestigious awards. Prior to that, he worked in Washington for political news Web site startups for National Journal, the Washington Post and ABC News. Brendler's career spans newspapers, magazines and television, including five years as a reporter and assistant city editor at the daily Anchorage Times in Alaska.