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Quality works

“A strong relationship between users and content leads to a strong relationship between consumers and brands.”

Speaking at the IAB’s ‘The value of quality environments’ webinar on Thursday, GroupM’s operations director Mat Smith said: “We know quality works.”

People have an affinity with a small number of websites that they use regularly and therefore the ads within them, he said, and that relationship needs to be a key consideration for advertisers.

IAB research shows that attention rises significantly on premium content sites, such as news brands, around two to three times higher than task-based sites like checking the weather.

Tim Elkington, chief digital officer at IAB UK, shared some early findings from soon-to-be released research that has been produced in partnership with IAB UK’s Display & Data Steering Group and conducted by Sparkler. He said that 64% agree that online advertising feels more high quality when it is well matched with the content around it and 51% agree that they judge a brand by the quality of advertising it shows them.

“We believe that a strong relationship between users and content leads to a strong relationship between consumers and brands,” Smith said, referring to Newsworks and GroupM’s Value of Quality research, which shows that ads in quality environments are viewed for longer, lead to greater brand response and are more cost effective.

Smith highlighted some of the issues around programmatic buying, saying the initial intention and final outcome aren’t always aligned.

“We don’t believe the open exchange values quality,” added Karen Eccles, senior director of commercial innovation at The Telegraph. News brand publishers launched The Ozone Project to allow “advertisers to work directly with publishers and tap into that quality, first party data,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lauren Dick, director of business development at Mail Metro Media, described how data is at the heart of everything they do. “We know who [our readers] are and how they behave… the data give us real time insight on what is working and what isn’t.”

The challenge is to ensure that commercial partners can tap into it. “There’s no silver bullet but we’re working together as an industry… there’s lots of testing going on, it’s very dynamic space,” Dick said.

The panel agreed that the demand for trusted information has never been greater, with 38 million adults now reading a news brand every day, according to PAMCo.

Eccles also pointed to recent IPA TouchPoints data, which shows trust in traditional news brands is on the up, with a 9% increase between January and April 2020.


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