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GroupM’s ‘Back to News’ initiative aims to drive investment in journalism

The partnership with Internews gives clients access to vetted local, national, and international news sites that represent high-quality ad environments

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

Created in partnership with Internews, the media support non-profit, BTN will provide GroupM clients with access to high-quality ad environments on vetted local, national, and international news sites.  

The Back to News Initiative is underpinned by Internews’ Ads for News initiative that helps brands and agencies reach engaged news audiences on more than 10,000 trusted local news websites from more than 50 countries.

The news sites and domains will be vetted by Ads for News 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. 

“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). Through Back to News and our partnership with Internews and its Ads for News initiative, we’re able to simultaneously drive results for our clients and demonstrate the power of media to positively impact society.” 

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. 

“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, this partnership brings access to new, motivated customers in brand-safe, high quality content environments while helping to save our access to truth. 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.”

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