IPG MediaBrands expands signature media responsibility index
IPG Mediabrands and its intelligence arm MAGNA, has unveiled the 4th issue of its signature Media Responsibility Index (MRI 4.0), an initiative that strives to raise industry awareness and standards around harm reduction for brands and consumers in advertising.
MRI 4.0 has transformed from an analytical study of 10 social platforms into an actionable toolset, now assessing 150+ partners from a variety of formats across 15 countries and establishing four new ESG-aligned priorities for partner accountability.
The index allows for teams and clients to incorporate brand and consumer safety priorities into their investment decision-making for a variety of media types, from the largest global social platforms to local broadcast media outlets.
The original MRI, the first-of-its kind, was launched in August 2020, in response to concerns about social media platforms not taking steps to acknowledge, measure and reduce their contribution to online and real-world harms. In effect supersized, MRI 4.0’s evaluations now encompass 80% of Mediabrands’ global investments and allow for clients to identify and invest in the media outlets that support their values without compromising ROI.
MRI 4.0 assessed each outlet across four priorities of partner accountability—Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Data Ethics—in alignment with industry-adopted ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) frameworks so businesses can easily extend how they are measuring their impact in these spaces to include media.
Previous versions of the MRI had ranked the platforms upon Mediabrands’ 10 Media Responsibility Principles, which are now consolidated within the four priorities.
More than 150 major partners were surveyed, expanding into the realms of Broadcast & Cable, Connected TV, Online Video, and Display. Across Broadcast & Cable, the traditional-first networks also span several subsidiary companies across Connected TV and Online Video properties; The findings illuminated that strict, longstanding federal regulations within Broadcast & Cable have had a trickle-down effect to their digital properties, in effect enhancing safety standards when compared to digital-first counterparts surveyed.
Elijah Harris, EVP Global Digital Partnerships & Media Responsibility, MAGNA: “We developed our first media responsibility index in 2020 to determine exact protocols of the major platforms, as people started questioning the impact of social media in their lives, from the prevalence of misinformation to hate speech and data-collection practices. We have always believed in the need to bring the lens of media responsibility to a broader set of media types. Consumers digest content and opinions from an ever-increasing list of mediums. It only made sense that this rigor we’ve developed for social platforms would be translated for a more diversified mix of media partners. With each iteration, the MRI is becoming more robust and establishing itself as a mainstay in driving industry accountability and powering responsible advertising investment.”
Advertising environments remain under the microscope as brands pursue ESG commitments and consumers become more critical of where brands choose to advertise. A Mediabrands survey found that one-quarter of clients adjusted their media mix based on MRI findings, and 90% said they were interested in finding new methods to assess media value beyond price efficiency alone.
Eileen Kiernan, Global CEO, Mediabrands: “The MRI is an important underpinning of our Media for Good positioning, putting responsibility at the heart of every media decision, as concern over the interplay and societal impact of advertising, media and misinformation increases. Our clients are increasingly pursuing ESG criteria within their own businesses and we are providing a resource to support these goals along with advocating for stronger, safer standards in media.”
Examples include Snap achieving a 6-point lift YoY, outperforming all platforms in its efforts to protect people and combat misinformation and disinformation due to their robust publisher diligence; TikTok continuing to raise the bar, gaining an 8-point lift on brand safety practices and 24-point lift in children’s wellbeing; and YouTube setting the benchmark for online video across all categories, most notably in Inclusivity for delivering 60% diversity in behind the camera casting for owned and diverse content, and Safety for their policy and enforcement tools to manage UGC.
Harris: “Looking back at the strides made by social-media platforms since 2020 not only validated the need for a media responsibility monitor, it motivated us to expand the lens of media responsibility to more media types and markets. We are proud to be a part of the greater journey to make social media safer for all and excited about the opportunity to improve our industry for all.”
Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO, 4A’s: “The 4A’s has been proud to endorse the Media Responsibility Index as an important tool for advertisers to assess how the big social-media players are handling safety issues on their platforms. Expanding to include other media types and global markets is a welcome next step.”
To compile MRI 4.0, MAGNA surveyed 150+ global media partners on a dynamic assessment, customized by media type, covering the most pressing safety issues of the day facing consumers and brands and specific accomplishments made by these outlets to help alleviate them. Scores were analyzed based on the varying weights of each question, as well as nuance within the individual platform, against the four brand-safety priorities.
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