Mediabrands Expands MRI with New ESG-Aligned Priorities Index

28 Oct 2022

IPG Mediabrands and its intelligence arm MAGNA unveiled the fourth issue of its Media Responsibility Index (MRI 4.0), which aims to raise awareness and standards around harm reduction for brands and consumers in advertising. MRI 4.0 has transformed the MRI from an analytical study of 10 social platforms into an actionable toolset that assesses 150+ partners from a variety of formats across 15 countries and establishing four new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities for partner accountability.

MRI 4.0 assessed partners across four ESG priorities — Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Data Ethics — which were chosen so that clients can easily extend how they are measuring their impact in these spaces to include media.

Key highlights from MRI 4.0 include:

  • Social media platforms showed continued improvement across the four priorities
  • Safety is a standout priority for broadcast & cable, based in part on federal industry regulations forcing uniformity and third-party enforcement in safety standards – including children’s safety rules and advertising approvals
  • Tech-proficient digital-first CTV partners are driving higher Data Ethics performance than their traditional-first counterparts
  • In terms of sustainability, online video platforms showed strength in their ad-business emissions measurement and setting net-zero goals

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.

“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,” said Eileen Kiernan, Global CEO of Mediabrands. “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.”