Support for Canadian Local Media in Full Force

Over the past months, IAB Canada has reported on a major industry dilemma regarding the dangers of ad blocking and its impact on the access to reliable journalism. Millions of Canadians continue to rely on accurate, timely and continuous reporting from trustworthy Canadian journalists and content producers. We continue to see that enormous amounts of high-demand, high-quality inventory remains unsold due to news blocking policies or concentration on lower funnel activity.

The situation is compounded for local news. Local news has been struggling for several years as digital platforms have replaced a large amount of time spent and content delivered on a one-to-one basis. Now, in a time of global and highly localized crisis, when local news sites are experiencing record-breaking audience-levels, the absence of advertising support smarts even more.

As announced in April, IAB Canada is in the process of developing a new local media database to serve as an allowlist that will provide local content with a fighting chance to compete within the programmatic marketplace. While most advertisers are steering clear of unpredictable content and are thereby painting all news with the same brush, this allowlist will provide the ability for brands to address the crux of their brand safety issues while continuing to support local content as a matter of protecting this vital source of information for Canadians.

Since launching this initiative, we have been apprised of exciting efforts taking place across the country that are moving in this direction and we are thrilled to support these initiatives from both a technical and policy standpoint. To this end, we will be reaching out to our members to form a working group that will help to coordinate this initiative.

The local ”news” database will be the first to be delivered as an “object” for DSPs in Canada, and internationally through the IAB Tech lab and any other industry bodies that are working towards the same goal. This will form the foundation on which to grow towards supporting broader content and create the technical infrastructure to help connect collective efforts towards the common goal.

The next step for our publisher community is to establish a true definition of local media and as such we have created a “Local Media Policy Committee”. The first meeting of this committee will focus on:

  • Defining “local”
  • Establishment of a process to collect any outstanding domains/property information for database
  • Sharing of the process moving forward in terms of distributing database to identified recipients
  • Answer any questions and address any concerns with this initiative

If you have any questions, or would like to be added to this committee, please contact