GroupM Joins Forces with Google to Create and Launch Website Accessibility Workshop for Clients
- Press Release
- October 17, 2023
Built in collaboration with EssenceMediacom, and piloted by their client Bayer, a new Accessibility workshop was launched by Google with GroupM to enhance access to information by addressing website accessibility gaps.
New York (October 17, 2023) — GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, today announced a partnership with Google to create and launch a website accessibility workshop that will enhance the accessibility of client websites. Built in collaboration with its agency EssenceMediacom and Google, and successfully piloted with EssenceMediacom client Bayer, the Accessibility workshop utilizes a Google Lighthouse Accessibility score, and aligns with GroupM’s mission to make advertising work better for people and Google’s mission to make information universally accessible.
As part of this collaboration, EssenceMediacom’s Paul Byrneworked closely with Leila Mabourakh and Google’s Mobile and Accessibility Experts to create a custom report and workshop adhering to Web Content AccessibilityGuidelines (WCAG). While Bayer was a first participant, access to its workshops will be expanded across GroupM’s client base throughout 2023.
“As part of making advertising work better for people, inclusivity is a critical component to making that happen,” said Kieley Taylor, GroupM’s Global Head of Partnerships. “This partnership allows us to enhance the conversation around accessibility with our advertiser partners while highlighting our commitment to creating a more inclusive digital landscape by making websites accessible to everyone, especially people with disabilities. While we are just beginning this journey, we believe there is always room for improvement.
The data shows how important accessibility is to the shopping experience. According to a recent report from Nucleus Research, 71% of online shoppers with access needs abandon websites with usability issues, which translates to a loss in an estimated $6.9 billion to competitors annually. Ninety-seven percent of the largest e-commerce sites were non-compliant with accessibility standards in 2021 (Baymard research).
“Research shows that 82% of customers with disabilities spend more on accessible websites. If we’re not working to make our sites, and that of our clients, as accessible as we can, we’re missing a critical demographic in our ability to maximize performance for our clients’ campaigns,” said Paul Byrne, EssenceMediacom’s Global Head of Performance Solutions. “This partnership with Google, and piloting with Bayer, was a no-brainer given the mission of our organizations and the ability for the scale of our groups to impact meaningful change.”
The first workshops focused on digital accessibility and identified areas for improvement on the respective sites for Bayer and its brands. Bayer saw immediate results, too. After making the necessary adjustments, the organization saw 95+ out of 100 scores across all pages, which were leading scores in health inclusivity.
“GroupM, EssenceMediacom and Google are our key partners in this area. This is a very tangible step forward in our commitment for inclusivity, health literacy and wider access to information for people with visual, motor and hearing disability needs,” said Ekaterina Kharitonova, Bayer Global Media Leader. “The data tells us how important accessible websites are for the shopping experience for those with accessibility needs. The group focused on key URLs and reviewed low contrast text, missing alternative text for images and additional best practices from Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. We’re thrilled to work with our partners GroupM, EssenceMediacom and Google on such important work.”
“Addressing these accessibility gaps allows us to prioritize an inclusive ethos within each of our product and engineering organizations,” said David Sneddon, VP EMEA gTech Professional Services at Google. “By combining the expertise and resources of GroupM, EssenceMediacom and Bayer, we aim to set a new standard for digital accessibility and inspire other organizations to prioritize inclusivity in their product and engineering efforts.”
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 mSix&Partners, 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. Discover more at www.groupm.com.
EssenceMediacom is GroupM’s newest and largest agency, committed to delivering marketing breakthroughs for brands. It has disrupted the old models across media, creative, innovation and analytics to find new opportunities for advertisers and deliver truly integrated media solutions.