GroupM & Internews Increase Advertising Investment on News Websites in APAC

SINGAPORE (June 19, 2024) — Following the roll out of an industry-first programme to help brands support quality journalism by re-investing media budgets in trustworthy news publishers, GroupM and Internews are thrilled to announce that over 350 news publishers in Asia Pacific have received increased advertising investment from GroupM in 2023.

GroupM and its Back to News initiative, in partnership with Internews, the world’s largest media support nonprofit, have been working to provide advertisers access to ad environments on local, national, and international news websites across the globe.

In the Asia Pacific region, the duo has mapped a YoY (2022-2023) increase in advertising investment on more than 350 news websites. These websites are from ten major Asian markets, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. There’s been a further 43% year on year increase in spend on these sites when comparing Q1’23 to Q1’24 across the markets.

“As the largest single point media buyer in APAC we have a responsibility to support a diverse, sustainable, transparent and high-quality media ecosystem. The Back to News initiative has been an important component of our Responsible Investment Framework and aims to ensure we continue to invest alongside our clients into high quality news publishers and provide a counter to the proliferation of fake news and MFA content that has flooded the market in recent years. The work that our supply management team has done in this space is truly market leading.” Anita Munro, Chief Investment Officer APAC, GroupM.

This win for journalism and news accessibility comes when legitimate digital news publishers increasingly face competition from made-for-advertising websites and artificially generated content. With this increase in investment, positive changes on the publishers’ end will holistically help uplift the ecosystem. The positive impact on client campaigns is also clear with recent results from a leading automotive client in the region showing viewability improving by 16.5%, an increase in click-through rate by 60% and a decrease in CPM by about 20%.

“Our aim is to deliver a world-class experience to our users”, said Vice Director of, Dhimas Ginanjar. “By doing this, we also create a safe environment for leading brands to advertise with us.” The sentiment of elevating the user-experience and effectiveness is similarly echoed by Mr. Ngo Manh Cuong, CEO of VNExpress, “Together with GroupM, I believe that the quality of news advertising will be enhanced, becoming smarter, more userfriendly and more effective for customers.”

Shayne Currie, Editor at Large at NZME further adds, “We’ve been delighted and humbled by the support of advertisers and subscribers who recognise the value of independent and trusted journalism.”

As Wen-Yan Liu, General manager at TVBS states, this initiative has allowed for them to “continue utilising cutting-edge technology to deliver the truth, advocate for ecological sustainability and be a trusted news source for our audience.”

Our newsroom goes to great lengths to verify information before publication. We hope more brands align their advertising with responsible journalism instead of investing in sites and platforms that require more verification practices. Our longstanding partnership with GroupM reinforces our commitment to the highest standards and ensures a safe space for reputable brands within our news environment.” Nicholas Sagau, Chief Operating Officer of Media Prima

“It has taken significant effort from teams at GroupM and Internews to build a system that helps address the needs of advertisers and responsible, brand-safe, local news media. We are now starting to see positive results— at a time when support for news is more critical than ever,” said Chris Hajecki, Director of Internews’ Ads for News.

GroupM’s Back to News program is underpinned by Internews’ Ads for News initiative, which helps brands and agencies reach engaged audiences on trusted local news websites from 54 countries. The results in Asia Pacific will be further analysed to determine how news websites can more effectively attract ad investment in other regions, as GroupM and Internews continue to roll out efforts globally.

The news websites and domains vetted by Ads for News, using extensive criteria created by a multi-stakeholder industry coalition, can be accessed directly through a local market inclusion list, private marketplaces (PMPs), or a package of inventory against a biddable price.

About Internews

Internews is a nonprofit that supports independent media in 100 countries. Internews trains journalists and digital rights practitioners, tackles disinformation, and offers business expertise to help media outlets thrive financially. For 40 years, it has helped partners reach millions of people with trustworthy information that saves lives, improves livelihoods, and holds institutions accountable. Discover more at
For further information, please contact: [email protected]


About Ads for News

Internews’ Ads for News (AFN), launched in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), is a global nonprofit initiative bringing increased value to brands through online advertising with trusted, local news media. In pursuit of this goal, AFN engages local media experts to research and help build country-based lists of trusted local news websites so that major brands and agencies can responsibly target them with online ads. Discover more at

About GroupM

GroupM is WPP’s media investment group and the world’s leading media investment company with a mission to shape the next era of media where advertising works better for people. The company is responsible for more than $60 billion in annual media investment, as measured by the independent research bureau COMvergence. Through its global agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom, and T&Pm, and cross-channel performance (GroupM Nexus), data (Choreograph), entertainment (GroupM Motion Entertainment) and investment solutions, GroupM leverages a unique combination of global scale, expertise, and innovation to generate sustained value for clients wherever they do business.