Havas Media Group (HMG) Joins Protect Our Press in Latest Initiative to Support Local News Growth

Supporting National Call-to-Action to Preserve Local Media Builds on HMG’s Global Meaningful Marketplaces Launch
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Havas Media Group (HMG) today announces it has joined Protect Our Press,  a national initiative for agencies, brands, publishers, and individuals centered on preserving trusted local news.

HMG’s Meaningful Media in the Time of COVID-19 report showed consumers turning to quality media as a source of truth, with local news serving as the most trusted media source with growth in consumption amongst younger demographics. Despite this reality, newsrooms continue to experience declines in revenue and ad spend, alongside record-breaking employee layoffs. More than 1,300 communities across the U.S. are classified as local “news deserts (Source),” and 20% of all newspapers have closed in the last 15 years. To combat this decline, independent agency A&G launched Protect Our Press to prioritize and reinvest advertising spending in local newsrooms.

“We’re proud to join Protect Our Press,” said Amy Ginsberg, Chief Investment Officer, North America at Havas Media Group. “Local News embodies Meaningful Media in the most significant sense – trusted, engaging, and influential media which really matters to the community it serves. We hope more of our partners across the industry will join in this important initiative.” 

By joining Protect Our Press, Havas Media Group pledges to:

  • Invest a meaningful percent of its programmatic advertising spend to direct or collective news buys, including the removal of high quality, brand safe news publishers from exclusion lists.
  • Evaluate direct deals with local newspapers through inclusion in the RFP process.
  • Commit to maintaining support levels for media buys already invested in local journalism.
  • Encourage individuals to sign up for paid subscriptions to their local digital or print publication.

This commitment builds on HMG’s existing work through its Meaningful Marketplaces. Launched this spring, the global initiative reduces sell-side fees for publishers and media partners. It also guarantees 100% transparency for sellers the programmatic value chain, while working to remove blocklists and harmful exclusions from news media.

“For too long, agencies and brands have defaulted to the stereotype that news adjacency isn’t brand safe because its subject matter is fluid,” said Will Phipps, SVP Media at Allen & Gerristen, an independent Boston advertising agency, and Co-Founder of Protect Our Press. “In a digital world where the voice of one too often steers the many, the opposite is true. Professional news offers the integrity of verified information – preserving it has to be one of this nation’s priorities – and it’s great that Havas Media is joining the cause.”

Havas is working with clients across its roster to deliver on the commitment immediately.

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