Home Sustainability IPG Has A New Sustainable Ad Marketplace That It Says Doesn’t Sacrifice Performance

IPG Has A New Sustainable Ad Marketplace That It Says Doesn’t Sacrifice Performance


If a sustainability-focused ad product isn’t easy to adopt, measurable and good for performance, most advertisers just won’t use it.

Until recently, that was the case at IPG.

Although the agency holding company had a partnership with sustainability tech vendor SeenThis since 2021, only a subset of its clients took advantage of the relationship. One reason is because it wasn’t a simple process, said Sean Muzzy, global president of Kinesso, IPG’s tech and data division.

Advertisers would have to manage creative production and media planning separately to use the SeenThis offering, which reduces carbon emissions by speeding up ad delivery by streaming rather than downloading ads.

But on Wednesday, IPG announced what it’s calling a Climate Action Marketplace, built in partnership with SeenThis and PubMatic.

IPG clients can now simply check a box in their media plans indicating they’d like to run outstream video or display campaigns using the SeenThis tech. The supply is sold by PubMatic, and clients can use their preferred DSP. They also get access to a live dashboard that reports on carbon emissions at the campaign level.

“Audience targeting and campaign management remain unchanged,” Muzzy said, “with the added benefits of helping IPG clients reduce their carbon footprint.”

Cleaning up

This product launch comes at the heels of the Global Media Sustainability Framework announced during Cannes Lions in France last week, which was the result of a yearlong industrywide effort to introduce standards for emissions reporting.

The creation of standards for carbon measurement should also encourage more advertisers to opt into using the new climate marketplace, said Martin Bryan, global chief sustainability officer at IPG Mediabrands. Together, the framework and the new product represent a maturing of the market.

“Profit through purpose is something that’s not only possible,” Bryan said, “but something that should be made easy.”


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Ad performance first

Enabling quicker ad load times achieves two things at once: improved ad performance and a related reduction in carbon emissions, said Susan Kravitz, head of commercial partnerships in the Americas for SeenThis.

When the company first launched in 2017, “our sole purpose was to deliver video and image assets into the display ecosystem [via] HTML5 to send less data over the internet,” Kravitz said, referring to the standard programming language supported by all major web browsers.

Ad performance is its core business, Kravitz said, while sustainability is “the cherry on top” that happens as part of the process. A solution isn’t sustainable from a business standpoint if it doesn’t also add to media performance, she said.

Generally speaking, when video assets render from an ad request, entire files must fully download before a video is viewable. This requires more data processing than streaming, which leads to waste and long load times, which has a negative impact on attention and, by extension, business outcomes.

In contrast, streamed ads play instantly and are more likely to capture attention, at least according to a recent study commissioned by SeenThis. The study, performed by Lumen, suggests that ads streamed by SeenThis get 1.7 times more attention than ads served using conventional tech.

For IPG, that proves “a direct correlation between emission reduction and attention,” Bryan said – and, in turn, return on ad spend.

IPG is approaching each of its clients individually to introduce the Climate Action Marketplace and explain why they should opt into using it.

Here’s to hoping for the best.

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