GroupM Introduces Back to News Initiative to Drive Investment in Responsible Journalism

Posted on 27 February 2023 in

Global partnership with Internews gives clients access to vetted local, national, and international news sites that represent high-quality ad environments

 New York (February 23, 2023) — GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, today introduced its Back to News (BTN) Initiative, an industry-first program to support the re-investment of media budgets in credible news publishers who are advancing the practice of responsible journalism around the world. Created in a global partnership with Internews, the world’s largest media support nonprofit, BTN will provide GroupM clients with access to high-quality ad environments on vetted local, national, and international news sites.

The Back to News Initiative is underpinned by Internews’ Ads for News initiative that helps brands and agencies reach engaged news audiences on more than 10,000 trusted local news websites from more than 50 countries. The news sites and domains are vetted by Ads for News and can be accessed through each market’s BTN inclusion list, private marketplaces (PMPs) or a package of inventory against a biddable price, allowing for more clients to engage. The partnership aims to establish active news inclusion lists in 60 international markets by the end of 2023.

“We’ve seen the damage that mis- and disinformation campaigns can do to social cohesion and trust in institutions,” said 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. What’s more, we know that investing in news delivers results for brands: ads seen on high quality news sites are perceived as 74% more likeable and receive 20% higher engagement than the same ads on lower quality sites (IAS). 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.”

BTN is backed by research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) that shows that advertising in news environments has a positive or neutral impact on 84% of consumers. News advertisers benefit from purchase consideration among 43% of consumers, while 39% agree they are comfortable recommending brands that advertise in news environments.

“Finding the truth is the challenge of our time and supporting those who uncover it is our collective responsibility,” said Chris Hajecki, Director of Ads for News. “Leading brands recognize that creating social profit from core business activities, like media investment, is essential in generating financial profit and shareholder return. For these brands, this GroupM partnership brings access to new, motivated customers in brand-safe, high quality content environments while helping to save our access to truth. This is a trailblazing partnership both for brands and trusted, local news media that helps people across diverse communities to make informed decisions about their lives.”

Back to News furthers GroupM’s commitment to supporting responsible journalism around the world by investing strategically in the right vehicles and placements to help rebuild credible news and publication ecosystems. It is also the latest program in GroupM’s Responsible Journalism pillar of its Responsible Investment Framework, building on previously announced programs including The Global Local News Marketplace with local outlets across 31 countries, The Help Journalism PMP created in partnership with TripleLift, and the creation of various Multicultural and Responsible News Marketplaces around the world.

About GroupM

GroupM is the world’s leading media investment company with a mission to create a new era of media where advertising works better for people. Responsible for more than $60 billion in annual media investment, according to COMvergence, the company innovates, differentiates, and generates sustained value for clients wherever they do business. GroupM’s portfolio includes agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom and mSix&Partners, as well as Choreograph (Data & Technology), GroupM Nexus (Cross-Channel Performance & Activation), and GroupM Investment. Discover more at

About Internews

Internews is a nonprofit that supports independent media in 100 countries. Internews trains journalists and digital rights practitioners, tackles disinformation, and offers business expertise to help media outlets thrive financially. For 40 years, it has helped partners reach millions of people with trustworthy information that saves lives, improves livelihoods, and holds institutions accountable. Discover more at

About Ads for News

Internews’ Ads for News (AFN), in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is a global nonprofit initiative bringing increased value to brands through online advertising with trusted, local news media. In pursuit of this goal, AFN engages local media experts to research and help build country-based lists of trusted local news websites so that major brands and agencies can responsibly target them with online ads. Discover more at