IAB Canada Launches Local News & Content Whitelist Initiative

Last month IAB Canada 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. Accurate reporting on COVID-19 provides life-saving access to real facts and information and as citizen dependence and consumption has soared, it has become more costly and difficult than ever to produce. While over 90% of Canadian adults are consuming online media it is more critical than ever to support the publishers that are providing round the clock coverage to us all.

Unfortunately, due to perceived brand misalignment and always-on content policies, we have seen major pull-back on advertising against the entire news category. The word “coronavirus” still tops the charts on advertiser blocklists, leaving an enormous amount of precious news inventory anemic of much needed ad revenue.

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.

For this reason, IAB Canada has launched a new local media database to serve as a whitelist 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 whitelist 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.

The database will 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.

We would like to thank our Publisher members for helping us to quickly build out this foundational initiative and look forward to building additional opportunities together.

If you are a Canadian publisher with localized content and wish to be considered for inclusion (free of charge), please contact us at policy@iabcanada.com