The media holding company’s marquee assessment expands to cover fast-growing Programmatic space along with Social Media platforms

New York, NY – [June 14, 2024] – Today IPG Mediabrands and its media investment and intelligence unit, MAGNA, released The Media Responsibility Index (MRI), marking the 5th edition of this proprietary assessment of global media platforms. For the first time, programmatic companies were added to the suite of partners included, building on the previous work with social media platforms.

The MRI was launched in 2020 at a pivotal moment for social media platforms, when there was increased concern about harmful content and distinguishing fact from misinformation. Amidst the urgent calls for greater transparency on content and brand and user safety, the MRI, spearheaded by the holding company’s impact investment team, emerged as an influencer of industry collaboration and barometer of progress. 

“We have seized the opportunity to further our Media for Good efforts, which are focused on making a positive impact within and beyond our holding company, by introducing an impactful, robust assessment that helps to create a culture of accountability and transparency in the media landscape,” said Eli Harris, EVP of Impact Investment at IPG Mediabrands. “With each new report we have seen the measurable impact of the work we do together with our media and industry partners, all of whom are committed to this shared goal of media responsibility.”

In 2023, global display programmatic advertising accounted for more than 70% of total display and video revenues, and grew by +10% over 2022, according to MAGNA’s “Programmatic Intelligence Report” (Oct. 2023). There is increased complexity in the programmatic ecosystem with demand side platforms (DSP), supply side platforms (SSP), publishers, and advertisers. The inclusion of programmatic in the MRI 5.0 was a natural evolution for the 2024 report.

MRI 5.0 revealed that the industry had a small 6-point gap between average platform performance and the top performing DSP, or benchmark. This reflected a high-level of consistency in the approach to the priority areas measured, in particular safety and data ethics. The data was promising as it indicated that DSPs were early to adopt the use of tools, e.g., pre-bid verification technologies, to deliver brand safety and suitability in the areas MRI is focused on. The competitive landscape and efforts at holding platforms accountable likely have been motivating factors for action and transparency around inventory, as DSPs have sought to differentiate their offerings for advertisers.

Programmatic Recommendations 

Based on the MRI 5.0 findings, programmatic platforms could push their media responsibility efforts even further through the following steps: 

    • Go beyond basic measures to avoid made-for-advertising (MFA) inventory, such as classifications.
    • Achieve industry alignment on a standardized definition of what MFA sites are.
    • Act on removing all advertising that runs across MFA sites, as currently only some SSPs do this automatically.
    • Improve communication to advertisers to raise awareness of safety measures like categorization and opt-out.

Progress by Social Platforms

Over the past five years, we have seen steady performance improvements, where the social platforms average score has increased by 21-points between MRI 1.0 and MRI 5.0. In the first MRI there was a 16% difference between the group average and the benchmark, and through ongoing education on media responsibility expectations, industry advancements, and their individual platform progress by the Impact Investment Team, that gap was reduced to 5% in MRI 5.0. 

In 2024, with an ever-changing technology, regulatory, and geopolitical climate that can impact brands’ advertising strategies and media investments, the MRI has broached into new topics to stay abreast of emerging threats to advertisers and their audiences. The intent is to ensure that advertisers are better informed and have actionable intelligence to advocate for features and solutions that will lead to a more responsible media ecosystem for all.  

How Advertisers Can Influence Media Responsibility

Brands have a tremendous opportunity to connect with their audiences through social media and build trust. A recent study called “Brand Trust Dimensions” found that the majority of people surveyed (76%) said responsible advertising practices, e.g., paying attention to what content ads run next to and creating inclusive ads, was the most effective way a brand can build trust with customers.  

    • Advertisers can lead the charge on improving safety standards for emerging threats.
    • With a heavy Gen Z presence on social media, and Gen Alpha quickly coming of age, advertisers could encourage platforms to design specific young user experiences, given these exist sparingly today.
    • Advocate for mental health and wellbeing, and combat misinformation, by calling on platforms to verify the accuracy and safety of information shared in online mental health communities.
    • Moderators are a key element of building responsible media practices, and advertisers could encourage social platforms to publish diversity statistics on their human moderators in an effort to ensure inclusive representation and best reflect the audiences engaged.
    • Climate misinformation is the trickiest type of content to identify, yet some platforms still don’t have a policy to demonetize climate mis/disinformation or greenwashing policies. Overall, advertisers have an opportunity to encourage platforms to consider sustainability best practices in their media responsibility efforts.

To learn more about The Media Responsibility Index, please visit 


About IPG Mediabrands
IPG Mediabrands is the media and marketing solutions division of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). IPG Mediabrands manages over $47 billion in marketing investment globally on behalf of its clients across its full-service agency networks UM, Initiative and Mediahub and through its award-winning specialized business units Healix, KINESSO, MAGNA, Mediabrands Content Studio, Orion Holdings, Rapport, and the IPG Media Lab. IPG Mediabrands clients include many of the world’s most recognizable and iconic brands from a broad portfolio of industry sectors including automotive, personal finance, consumer product goods (CPG), pharma, health and wellness, entertainment, financial services, energy, toys and gaming, direct to consumer and e-commerce, retail, hospitality, food and beverage, fashion and beauty. The company employs more than 18,000 diverse marketing communication professionals in more than 130 countries.  

Learn more at

MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers. 

We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity, and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity, and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: and follow us on LinkedIn.

Press Contact:
Suzette Meade
IPG Mediabrands
[email protected]