afaqs! news bureau

GroupM introduces Back to News initiative to drive investment in responsible journalism

The data will provide GroupM clients with access to high-quality ad environments on vetted local, national, and international news sites.

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, introduced its Back to News  (BTN) Initiative, an industry-first program 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 a global partnership with Internews, 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 recognize 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.” 

Back to News 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 program 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.  

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