Brand & BusinessPress Release

GroupM and Internews increase advertising investment on news websites in Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE — Following the rollout of an industry-first program to help brands support quality journalism by re-investing media budgets in trustworthy news publishers, GroupM and Internews have announced that over 350 news publishers in Asia Pacific have received increased advertising investment from GroupM in 2023.

GroupM and its Back to News initiative, in partnership with Internews, the world’s largest media support nonprofit, have been working to provide advertisers access to ad environments on local, national, and international news websites across the globe.

In the Asia Pacific region, the duo has mapped a YoY (2022 to 2023) increase in advertising investment on more than 350 news websites. These websites are from ten major Asian markets, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. There’s been a further 43% year-on-year increase in spend on these sites when comparing Q1’23 to Q1’24 across the markets.

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“As the largest single-point media buyer in APAC, we have a responsibility to support a diverse, sustainable, transparent, and high-quality media ecosystem. The Back to News initiative has been an important component of our Responsible Investment Framework. It aims to ensure we continue to invest alongside our clients into high quality news publishers and provide a counter to the proliferation of fake news and MFA content that has flooded the market in recent years. The work that our supply management team has done in this space is truly market leading,” said Anita Munro, Chief Investment Officer APAC at GroupM.

This win for journalism and news accessibility comes when legitimate digital news publishers increasingly face competition from made-for-advertising websites and artificially generated content. With this increase in investment, positive changes on the publishers’ end will holistically help uplift the ecosystem. The positive impact on client campaigns is also clear, with recent results from a leading automotive client in the region showing that viewability improved by 16.5%, an increase in click-through rate by 60%, and a decrease in CPM by about 20%.

“Our aim is to deliver a world-class experience to our users”, said Vice Director of Jawapos.com, Dhimas Ginanjar. “By doing this, we also create a safe environment for leading brands to advertise with us.”

The sentiment of elevating the user experience and effectiveness is echoed by Ngo Manh Cuong, CEO of VNExpress, “Together with GroupM, I believe that the quality of news advertising will be enhanced, becoming smarter, more user-friendly and more effective for customers.”

Shayne Currie, Editor at Large at NZME, added, “We’ve been delighted and humbled by the support of advertisers and subscribers who recognize the value of independent and trusted journalism.”

As Wen-Yan Liu, General Manager at TVBS, stated, this initiative allowed them to “continue utilizing cutting-edge technology to deliver the truth, advocate for ecological sustainability, and be a trusted news source for our audience.”

“Our newsroom goes to great lengths to verify information before publication. We hope more brands align their advertising with responsible journalism instead of investing in sites and platforms that require more verification practices. Our longstanding partnership with GroupM reinforces our commitment to the highest standards and ensures a safe space for reputable brands within our news environment,” said Nicholas Sagau, Chief Operating Officer of Media Prima.

“It has taken significant effort from teams at GroupM and Internews to build a system that helps address the needs of advertisers and responsible, brand-safe, local news media. We are now starting to see positive results— at a time when support for news is more critical than ever,” said Chris Hajecki, Director of Internews’ Ads for News.

GroupM’s Back to News program is underpinned by Internews’ Ads for News initiative, which helps brands and agencies reach engaged audiences on trusted local news websites from 54 countries. The results in Asia Pacific will be further analyzed to determine how news websites can more effectively attract ad investment in other regions as GroupM and Internews continue to roll out efforts globally.

The news websites and domains vetted by Ads for News, using extensive criteria created by a multi-stakeholder industry coalition, can be accessed directly through a local market inclusion list, private marketplaces (PMPs), or a package of inventory against a biddable price.

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