Brand Safety and Media Responsibility: How Have Top Platforms Fared?


In a world saturated by new media – think Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok – it’s easy for advertising brands and platforms to push out content as and when, as well as how, they like. In this light, how do brand safety and media responsibility come into play?

Enter the Media Responsibility Index

IPG Mediabrands

To examine this, IPG Mediabrands curates a bi-annual Media Responsibility Index, which is a quantitative report that aims to elevate, and maintain, industry standards concerning brand safety and media responsibility in advertising. 

Why was the Media Responsibility Index created?

IPG Mediabrands created the Media Responsibility Index as a helpful tool for social platforms, hoping to highlight current issues and what can be done to improve. As current results show, platforms heeded the call-to-action, and acted in an efficient manner to help contribute to a “more positive future for advertising and our world”. 

Aptly put by Elijah Harris, Global Head of Social at Mediabrands’ agency Reprise, “as an agency partner to both platforms and brands, we have a unique opportunity to provide data and insights that empower the larger industry to look out for one another when it comes to the communities a brand serves and the content they see”. 

What are today’s results?

Spearheaded by Reprise, an agency engaged by Mediabrands, the most recent index is based on a 2H 2020 assessment.  Encouragingly, there has been a significant improvement across nearly all 10 Media Responsibility Principles (MRPs), with an average increase of 11% points. Most notable are the advances in the agency network’s Promote Respect and Accountability principles, and an increase in efforts to reduce hate speech, as well as eliminate misinformation/disinformation. 

IPG Mediabrands

The 10 MRPs are Promote Respect, Protect People, Diverse & Representative, Data Collection & Use, Children’s Wellbeing, No Misinformation/Disinformation, No Hate Speech, Enforce Policy, Advertising Transparency, as well as Accountability. These MRPs have been officially adopted by the 4As, with the index gaining endorsement from the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which is the leading global industry body on media responsibility governance. 

The latest Media Responsibility Index closely follows the 1H 2020 Media Responsibility assessment last August, which examined platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, and Youtube.

Key findings


TikTok has improved the most since the previous index, pivoting towards enhanced third-party brand safety partnerships. TikTok has also placed further emphasis on the Diverse and Representative principle, as well as fortified their policy enforcement efforts.

All of the participating platforms took significant steps regarding Misinformation, Health, and Election Integrity. For example, the platforms pushed out transparent, principle-based, and enforceable policies. They’ve also all expressed continued interest in improving industry standards, and have committed to taking greater accountability for the content they produce.

What does this mean for the region?

All these efforts by the platforms will help to create a “safer and more responsible ecosystem for advertisers and more importantly, consumers”. This will help to instil confidence, protect users, and ensure that advertising content remains effective and purposeful for all.

As postulated by Gosia Wajchert, Matterkind Lead MENAT, “by streamlining and actioning our best practices in collaboration with our media agencies, we are able to strengthen our planning strategies, optimise brand safety, and biddable media effectiveness”.

As these global platforms work together to improve their practices, here’s to a better, and brighter, future for all those in the media and advertising industry.

Join the conversations on THG’s Facebook and Instagram, and get the latest updates via Telegram. 




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