Good-Loop gives publishers free access to new GARM-aligned tool

Good-Loop gives publishers free access to new GARM-aligned tool
Williams (left) and Luttrell

Online advertising company Good-Loop has released an update to its Good Measures omnichannel carbon measurement and reduction product to align it with a new framework from the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM).

Once a single proposition, Good Measures is now split into two products: Good Measures for Advertisers and Good Measures for Publishers.

The former provides advertisers with actionable insights into carbon usage for their campaigns, while the latter gives publishers a look at their own carbon footprint.

Analysis: Help for publishers

Notably, Good-Loop is making Good Measures free to access for all publishers so that they can easily check their carbon output and adapt to improve their sustainability scores if they are considered undesirable by brands. This would free publishers from paying tech vendors to help get them off punitive blocklists.

Will Luttrell, Good-Loop’s chief technology officer, told The Media Leader: “Publishers are being told: ‘You’ve wound up on a naughty list somewhere, you’re being blocked somehow, and we’ll charge you $10,000 a month and we’ll put you on the good list if you do what we say.’

“We want to help them and we’ll happily do that free.” Luttrell added that Good-Loop “will never go back on that” promise.

No longer penalised

The new Good Measures product is a complete reworking of its previous iteration, with the goal of aligning with improved GARM standards.

“It uses 0% of the old code,” Luttrell explained.

GARM is standardising the way carbon is measured in advertising. An initiative led by the World Federation of Advertisers, GARM’s mission is to address harmful content in digital media such as through creating standards to ensure brand safety, reduce harmful content and promote sustainable media practices.

“With the brilliant guidance of GARM, Good Measures is now more flexible, more holistic and the most accurate view of a campaign’s carbon signature available for brands and advertisers,” said Good-Loop founder and CEO Amy Williams.

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Under GARM’s new approach to carbon measurement, the carbon footprint of the advertiser no longer includes the publishers’ own footprint. It also differs from traditional electricity-heavy framework by focusing more on “embodied emissions” (emissions from making, maintaining and disposing of the servers on which digital advertising is run), which are estimated to account for three-fourths of Scope 3 emissions for running digital ads.

Under the previous carbon-measurement product, advertisers were being held on the hook for publishers’ carbon footprints, even if they had nothing to do with the individual campaign being run.

Luttrell explained this process was “illogical”, likening it to holding advertisers responsible for the entire carbon footprint of the Super Bowl if they bought a 30-second TV spot for the event. Now, publishers’ own carbon footprints are no longer counted.

The change aims to avoid unnecessarily punitive actions being taken against publishers in the name of improved sustainability practice.

“I can’t stress this enough: we have to stop telling advertisers that the key to cutting carbon emissions is to demonitise publishers,” said Luttrell.

Green is good for business

For advertisers looking to cut down on their carbon output, be it from electricity usage or embodied emissions, the answer, according to Luttrell, is simple: supply-path optimisation.

The benefit of doing so is not just for reaching carbon pledges, but for business more generally.

“Carbon measurement is kind of a backdoor way to make your buying paths more cost-efficient, even when other methods have failed,” said Luttrell.

While Good-Loop doesn’t “believe in blocklists”, Luttrell explained that it will highlight the top 25% of publishers that have low carbon footprints to give brands better insight.

“If you’re an advertiser that’s cleaning yourself up and you care about sustainability, of course it makes sense that you support publishers that are doing the same thing,” he said. By focusing on publishers with a strong sustainability record, Luttrell added, brands will by default avoid wasting spend on made-for-advertising (MFA) sites.

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Luttrell shared that one retailer Good-Loop has worked with has had 42% of its 10,000-ton CO2 footprint inadvertently go towards placing ads considered unviewable, implying huge waste and inefficiency in the digital advertising ecosystem.

“There’s no better way [to avoid MFA] than to target low-emitting publishers,” continued Luttrell. “MFA is incompatible with low emissions. They’re almost polar opposites.

“Green overlaps with low ad clutter, which connects to metrics like attention and brand lift. It’s so closely aligned with quality.”

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