GroupM promises digital safety to clients with new appointment

WPP’s GroupM has appointed John Montgomery to a new role, executive vice president, Brand Safety, GroupM Global.  As EVP of Brand Safety, Montgomery will work to expand adoption of these best practices in international markets.

Montgomery will work with GroupM’s community of digital advertising and media trading experts at Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, Essence, Xaxis and scores of regional companies globally to create a coherent set of global standards that operationalise brand safety for GroupM’s clients in every market in which they advertise. Montgomery will report to Rob Norman, global chief digital officer.

“Clients want to know their brands are safe and that the digital components of their media plans are effective in every region in which they operate. And importantly, they deserve to get what they’re paying for - the engagement of their targeted audiences with their brand messages, accountably and safely,” said Norman.

“Montgomery is one of the world’s foremost authorities on digital brand safety. He holds the respect of clients, media partners, and regulators for his innovative thinking and practical approaches to making digital advertising respectful of consumers, more effective for advertisers and consequently a viable business for publishers.”

Montgomery’s career with WPP began in 1989 when he joined Ogilvy in South Africa as media director and later launched Mindshare in the region. Following a tour of duty with Ogilvy Group Netherlands as Group CEO, Montgomery relocated to New York to lead the interactive media practice for Mindshare and Ogilvy, and he was subsequently named Global CEO of Mindshare Interaction.

He later matriculated to COO of GroupM Interaction in North America where he led digital data strategy, innovation and policy. Since January 2015, he has served as North American chairman of GroupM Connect, a role in which he helped pioneer initiatives GroupM is now globalising, while also supporting the expansion of the Group’s programmatic capabilities.

“GroupM’s advocacy for higher quality standards in digital in the US continues to be challenging, but rewarding, and I believe the entire industry has benefited,” said Montgomery.

“The US digital marketplace is today a better platform for advertisers, and this ultimately makes it a stronger ecosystem for content owners and consumers over the long-term. Going global with these efforts promises to be an even bigger lift given the differences among players and platforms, as well as vendor and marketplace readiness in different countries. However, marketing is increasingly a global enterprise and it demands a borderless ecosystem that shares in basic standards, practices and nomenclature supporting brand safety. I am excited to help GroupM drive this agenda.”