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IPG Mediabrands India unveils inaugural ‘Media Responsibility Index’

The initiative spotlights media's role in safety and responsibility in India

IPG Mediabrands unveiled its inaugural Media Responsibility Index (MRI) in India.

Collaboratively compiled by IPG Mediabrands and its intelligence arm, Magna, the MRI aims to elevate awareness and set a higher industry standard for safety in advertising for both brands and consumers.

It serves as a guiding resource for marketers, allowing them to prioritise brand and consumer safety in their investment decisions across diverse media platforms.

Hema Malik, Chief Investment Officer, IPG Mediabrands India, said, "The MRI India is a testament to our commitment to responsible media practices in India. Our MRI report propels responsible media practices to the forefront of India's media landscape, providing brands and marketers with essential tools to navigate the media terrain conscientiously. It reaffirms our dedication to ethical advertising, safety, and shared responsibility in media. While we take pride in Indian media companies leading in Safety and corporate responsibility, the MRI also underscores the imperative for Digital Platforms to elevate their efforts in Data Ethics.”

“It highlights that while Indian media excels in several areas, there's room to advance Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, further progressing responsible media practices in our country," Malik added.

The MRI India evaluates media platforms across four crucial Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) aligned priorities: Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability, and Data Ethics. This comprehensive approach equips brands to make discerning investment decisions, with consideration for brand and consumer safety in media strategies.

The survey encompasses an extensive questionnaire containing over 200 questions, covering key principles such as promote respect, children’s wellbeing, misinformation, and data collection and use, providing a deep-dive analysis of each platform’s performance within these domains.

The response from media platforms is a weighted index of all 10 principles across 4 priorities: Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Data Ethics. The index reflects the platforms’ position in the priority areas. Broadcast platforms surveyed cover close to 70% of Television Adex in India.

Key findings specific to the Indian media landscape include:

Broadcast and digital platforms excel in safety: Both Broadcast and Digital platforms exhibit consistency in safety with robust processes aligned with industry ethics and standards.

Broadcasters face sustainability gap: Foundational sustainability efforts are needed from Broadcast platforms through measuring emissions, ESG frameworks and making public commitments on Net Zero goals. Digital is a mixed bag, some platforms have plans to improve energy efficiency and mitigate greenwashing.

Inclusivity metrics highlight opportunity for growth: DE&I efforts need to be stepped up in Broadcast and Digital. Significant opportunity exists in enhanced measurement and statistical validation.

Digital platforms urged to prioritize data ethics: Digital platforms are encouraged to bolster efforts in data ethics, in alignment with the Digital Personal Data Protection regulation.

Harrison Boys, Director, Standards and Investment Product, IPG Mediabrands APAC, said, “MRI India heralds a new era in media responsibility. It underscores the importance of putting safety, inclusivity, sustainability, and data ethics at the forefront of media strategies. Notably, the MRI showcases how Indian broadcasters excel in Safety, setting industry benchmarks. Furthermore, India's substantial commitment to CSR projects mandated by the CSR Law aligns perfectly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating a unique opportunity for responsible media practices on a global scale. It is noted, however, that there is a significant opportunity in Sustainability, as well as ensuring Data Ethics practices are class leading in recognition of the regulation.”

In an era where brands and consumers emphasise ESG criteria, the MRI emerges as an invaluable annual resource to support these objectives and champion higher media standards. It advocates for responsibility in media, mitigating concerns surrounding the societal impact of media and misinformation.

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