GroupM partners with SeenThis in decarbonisation effort

GroupM partners with SeenThis in decarbonisation effort

GroupM is partnering with tech company SeenThis in a bid to help reduce and avoid unnecessary carbon emissions in digital advertising.

Through the collaboration, GroupM, WPP’s media investment group and the world’s largest media buyer, will leverage SeenThis’ proprietary technology to minimise carbon emissions and improve performance in display advertising campaigns. The companies claim it will enable agencies to “refine and provide more detailed supply-chain decisioning for data transfer within digital channels.”

GroupM will also incorporate SeenThis’ carbon cost of data transfer measurement methodologies into its own carbon calculator for use in media planning and post-campaign analysis.

“The team at GroupM is on a mission to develop tools and technologies which ensure that carbon emissions are considered a part of the media planning process,” said Ed Fanning, GroupM’s global head of partnerships for advertising and retail technology.

Yes, you can reduce carbon in ads without affecting cost or performance

In November 2022, GroupM announced a global framework for media decarbonisation. Earlier this week, it announced new efforts to curb carbon emissions by providing additional protections against advertising on Made For Advertising (MFA) websites. Such sites use 26% more carbon than others, and are widely considered wasteful and ineffective ad inventory.

Recent studies by Scope3 have found that programmatic advertising generates 215,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per month just in the UK, US, France, Germany and Australia; programmatic in the UK alone emits the equivalent of driving a car more than 26 times around the world at 36 miles per gallon. A Scope3 assessment found using direct digital ad inventory is one key way to reduce emissions.

Fanning described the latest partnership with SeenThis as “an important step” in the group’s commitment to decarbonise the media supply chain.

GroupM’s agencies will initially use SeenThis’ emissions dashboard to measure data transfer and campaign emissions, but the data will eventually be integrated directly into GroupM’s own display planning tools.

SeenThis CEO Jesper Benon explained that its proprietary streaming “addresses the trade-off that otherwise exists between performance and sustainability in the digital ecosystem.” He claimed his company delivers “lightning-fast ad-loading that attains higher attention from users, which translates into fewer wasted impressions and a more efficient use of resources.”

The partnership adds to a number of ongoing efforts across the media industry to marry greater ad efficiency and effectiveness with sustainability efforts. Dentsu UK&I and IPG Mediabrands agency Mediahub have both developed offers this year that they claim helps optimise media-buying for more audience attention and lower-carbon formats at the same time.

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