NEWS2 August 2023

UK government to measure ESG credentials of media partners

Data analytics Inclusion Media News Public Sector Sustainability UK

UK – The government is the first client to use an Omnicom Media Group UK environmental, social and governance (ESG) accountability tool aimed at helping advertisers to gain visibility of the social and environmental impact of their media investments.

corner of whitehall and downing street

The ‘OMG Impact’ tool is based on data from ESG data business Legacy Media and allows OMG UK to measure media owners based on their environmental, social and governance practices.

OMG said it developed the tool to help the government and private sector clients make “responsible and better-informed media investment decisions based on the ESG credentials of media partners”. The media agency will now use it to benchmark how media spend aligns with clients’ commitments in the ESG space.

The UK government is the first to use the tool, which OMG will make available to other UK clients in the coming months. The government will access the service through its Omnicom Media Group buying agency OmniGov at MG OMD.

Stephanie Parry at Crown Commercial Service, said: “It is all-important that the public sector is able to work with media owners that represent all sections of the British public. Measuring the ethics of the platforms they invest in, and then benchmarking them against our social value framework, will ensure the right investments are being made. It allows us collectively to minimise risk relating to impacts on society and the environment, and ensures media spend through our framework agreement is accountable to all stakeholders.”

The tool offers an ‘ESG index’ for historical media investment, including scores for 12 ESG categories including energy and climate change, community and development, and diversity and labour rights. Data is updated monthly.

Legacy Media uses aggregated ESG market data to allocate ratings to global media suppliers.

The UK government is using a custom algorithm to report against social value, a variation on ESG.  

Bhavin Balvantrai, chief market analyst at OMG UK, said the tool “offers a proactive solution to any client that wishes to invest in the media owners who align with their values and those of their audience”.

Andy Power, chief executive and founder at Legacy, added: “The partnership with OMG UK and OmniGov allows us to greatly scale our offering in the UK and work towards full representation for media owners, crucially in minority owned media and other under-represented cohorts.”