‘Advertising can fight disinformation’: GroupM pledge to back quality news publishers

‘Advertising can fight disinformation’: GroupM pledge to back quality news publishers

GroupM has launched Back to News, a programme to support the reinvestment of media budgets in credible news publishers.

The WPP media-buying arm expects Back to News to provide its clients with access to high-quality ad environments across vetted local, national, and international news sites.

To create the initiative, GroupM is partnering with media support nonprofit Internews. Internews’ own Ads for News initiative helps brands and agencies reach news audiences across 10,000 local news websites from more than 50 countries.

The partnership aims to establish active news inclusion lists in 60 international markets by the end of 2023.

News sites and domains will be vetted by Ads for News and can be accessed through each market’s Back to News inclusion list, private marketplaces (PMPs) or a package of inventory against a biddable price, allowing for more clients to engage.

“We’ve seen the damage that mis- and disinformation campaigns can do to social cohesion and trust in institutions,” says 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.”

Taylor sites research from Integral Ad Science that found ads seen on high quality news sites were perceived as 74% more likeable than ads seen elsewhere. “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,” she adds.

Reinvestment in reputable news media has been a goal of publishers in recent years as advertising budgets have chased digital strategies. The UK’s Ozone Project similarly seeks to make it easier for advertisers to buy premium publisher audiences, though at a smaller scale, by pooling their online ad inventory.

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