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GroupM introduces new initiative to support responsible journalism

GroupM introduces new initiative to support responsible journalism

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GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has introduced a back to news (BTN) initiative, a programme to support the re-investment of media budgets into credible news publishers who are advancing the practice of responsible journalism around the world.

Created in global partnership with media support nonprofit, Internews, BTN will provide GroupM clients with access to ad environments on vetted local, national, and international news sites. The BTN initiative is underpinned by Internews’ Ads for News initiative that helps brands and agencies reach engaged news audiences on over 10,000 trusted local news websites from more than 50 countries.

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The news sites and domains will be vetted by Ads for News, a curated portfolio of trusted local news websites, and can be accessed through each market’s BTN inclusion list, private marketplaces (PMPs), or a package of inventory against a biddable price, allowing for more clients to engage. The partnership aims to establish active news inclusion lists in 60 international markets by the end of 2023.

BTN is backed by research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) that shows that advertising in news environments has a positive or neutral impact on 84% of consumers. News advertisers benefit from purchase consideration among 43% of consumers, while 39% agree they are comfortable recommending brands that advertise in news environments.

BTN furthers GroupM’s commitment to supporting responsible journalism around the world by investing strategically in the right vehicles and placements to help rebuild credible news and publication ecosystems.

It is also the latest programme in GroupM’s Responsible Journalism pillar of its responsible investment framework, building on previously announced programs including The Global Local News Marketplace with local outlets across 31 countries, The Help Journalism PMP, created in partnership with TripleLift, and the creation of various Multicultural and Responsible News Marketplaces around the world. 

“Finding the truth is the challenge of our time and supporting those who uncover it is our collective responsibility,” said Chris Hajecki, director of Ads for News.

Leading brands recognise that creating social profit from core business activities, like media investment, is essential in generating financial profit and shareholder return. For these brands, the partnership brings access to new, motivated customers in brand-safe, high quality content environments while helping to save our access to truth, Hajecki added. “This is a trailblazing partnership both for brands and trusted, local news media that helps people across diverse communities to make informed decisions about their lives.”

“We’ve seen the damage that mis- and disinformation campaigns can do to social cohesion and trust in institutions,” said Kieley Taylor, GroupM’s global head of partnerships. “We believe advertising can play an important role in fighting this trend by supporting the creation of shared realities rooted in credible, fact-based journalism. What’s more, we know that investing in news delivers results for brands: ads seen on high quality news sites are perceived as 74% more likeable and receive 20% higher engagement than the same ads on lower quality sites (IAS),” Taylor continued.

Through BTN and its partnership with Internews and its Ads for News initiative, GroupM is able to simultaneously drive results for its clients and demonstrate the power of media to positively impact society, she added.

GroupM not only focuses on responsible journalism, it also recently introduced a newly developed global carbon measurement framework to measure and reduce ad-based carbon emissions. The framework is a new set of measurement methodologies designed to break down the media value chain and define the necessary data inputs to measure carbon emissions across all five stages of the advertising lifecycle for all formats, channels and markets in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s standards.

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