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GroupM Aims To Direct More Ad Dollars To ‘Credible News Publishers.’

GroupM, the media investment arm of ad agency giant WPP, has pledged to direct more ad dollars to “credible news publishers who are advancing the practice of responsible journalism around the world.” Its newly introduced Back to News (BTN) Initiative, a global partnership with the media support nonprofit Internews, will provide GroupM clients with access to “high-quality ad environments on vetted local, national, and international news sites,” according to press materials.

The backbone of the program is 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. GroupM says the partnership aims to establish active news inclusion lists in 60 international markets by the end of 2023.

Kieley Taylor, GroupM’s Global Head of Partnerships, says they believe that advertising can play an important role in fighting the trend of mis- and disinformation campaigns by “supporting the creation of shared realities rooted in credible, fact-based journalism.”

In addition, Taylor says GroupM’s research has shown 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. With the partnership, “we’re able to simultaneously drive results for our clients and demonstrate the power of media to positively impact society.”

In bolstering its argument for the initiative, GroupM points to research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) that shows 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. “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.”

GroupM says the Back to News initiative furthers its 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.” The agency says it also builds 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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