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Trending

GroupM ‘responsible journalism’ push to increase ad budgets for news sites via private marketplace.


By Arvind Hickman and Paul McIntyre
Published Mi3

GroupM is ratcheting up its ESG credentials – earlier announcements to decarbonise the media supply chain by 2030 are extending to a civics and society agenda which this week saw WPP’s media investment arm launch a private marketplace (PMP) designed to swing advertisers “Back to News” and “responsible journalism”. GroupM CEO Aimee Buchanan said “there is value” in backing the role responsible journalism played in “shaping society, culture and shaping brands”; Chief Investment Officer Melissa Hey said “we are aiming to increase that investment in news” as publishers scramble to address a 16.4 per cent decline in ad revenues, according to SMI’s March quarter update.

ThinkNewsBrands executive GM Vanessa Lyons called GroupM’s initiative “a beacon” for industry – most categories and brands, she said, should upweight their budgets fourfold in “Total News”, irrespective of their ESG agendas, citing ROI econometric modelling. Lyons said the Total News sector was attracting 1.4 per cent of overall ad spending but should be 6 per cent – brand safety bias and blacklists of news keywords were among the contributors to newsmedia’s current challenges.

“Right now marketers are overweighting media channels in lieu of news and they need to shift their mix…” Lyons said…”They’re investing below optimal levels in news, but rather than increase their overall ad budgets, they would be best placed to re-weight their existing media mix and reallocate more to news advertising.”


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Written news reaches an incredible 97 per cent of Australians aged 14+ each month.

Fresh readership figures from Roy Morgan (12 months to December 2023) show written news retaining its broad reach across the country, with 97% (or 21.4M) of Australians aged 14+ consuming news in any given month.

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