IPG Mediabrands, the media holding company within Interpublic Group, has introduced its inaugural Media Responsibility Index (MRI) in India.

The MRI was collaboratively compiled by IPG Mediabrands and its intelligence arm, MAGNA. According to a press release, it and aims to set a higher standard for safety in advertising for both brands and consumers. It seeks to serve as a guiding resource for marketers, which will allow them to prioritize brand and consumer safety in their investment decisions across various media platforms.

The MRI India evaluates media platforms across four crucial Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) aligned priorities: Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability, and Data Ethics. This is a comprehensive and inclusive approach that equips brands to make thoughtful investment decisions with consideration for brand and consumer safety when it came to media strategies.

The survey consisted of an extensive questionnaire containing more than 200 questions, covering key principles: promote respect, children’s wellbeing, misinformation, and data collection & use. This provides a deep analysis of each platform’s performance within these domains.

The response from media platforms is an index of all 10 principles across 4 priorities: Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Data Ethics. This weighted index reflects the platforms’ position in the priority areas, and broadcast platforms surveyed close to 70% of Television Adex in India.

Some of the key findings in relation to the Indian media landscape include:

  • Both broadcast and digital platforms exhibit consistency in safety with processes aligned with industry ethics and standards.
  • Foundational sustainability efforts are needed from broadcast platforms through measuring emissions, ESG frameworks and making public commitments on Net Zero goals. Digital is a mixed bag, some platforms have plans to improve energy efficiency and mitigate greenwashing.
  • DE&I efforts need to be stepped up in broadcast and digital. Significant opportunity exists in enhanced measurement and statistical validation.
  • Digital platforms are encouraged to bolster efforts in data ethics, in alignment with the Digital Personal Data Protection regulation, the report stated.

Hema Malik, chief investment officer, IPG Mediabrands India, commented, “The MRI India is a testament to our commitment to responsible media practices in India. Our MRI report propels responsible media practices to the forefront of India’s media landscape, providing brands and marketers with essential tools to navigate the media terrain conscientiously. It reaffirms our dedication to ethical advertising, safety, and shared responsibility in media. While we take pride in Indian media companies leading in Safety and corporate responsibility, the MRI also underscores the imperative for Digital Platforms to elevate their efforts in Data Ethics. It highlights that while Indian media excels in several areas, there’s room to advance Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, further progressing responsible media practices in our country.”