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Why Responsible Media Matters—And What the Industry Needs to Make It a Reality

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By Emma Newman, CRO, EMEA
April 20, 2023

The term “responsible media” encompasses multiple definitions. On the one hand, it can refer to how publishers, agencies and advertisers integrate environmental, economic and social issues into their business operations. But it can also include DE&I initiatives—such as a more multi-dimensional approach to behavioral targeting—or even consumer privacy. So, why should the media be “responsible”?


It’s the focus on sustainability that has so far been most prominent. That’s in part because of the environmental impact of doing business in the digital era, with data centers, content delivery, and end-user devices that consume vast amounts of energy.

With responsible media, however, businesses can help the planet by improving infrastructure and reducing supply chain redundancies. As an added bonus, sustainability-focused responsible media also helps brands connect with younger consumers—particularly Gen Z.


One of the biggest challenges, however, is a lack of widespread standards to measure responsible media goals and their consumption impact. This, however, could soon change. Advertisers and publishers alike are working toward a common set of standards and measurement methodologies for responsible media alongside organizations like the IAB and Ad Net Zero.

The latter is partnering with industry leaders to identify the most effective measurement processes available. As well, PubMatic is partnering with Ad Net Zero to build more streamlined measurement frameworks. The end goal is to help publishers, advertisers and agencies identify—and eventually institute—key sustainability metrics.

Meanwhile, ad tech vendors are powering responsible media programs and enabling partners to track and mitigate their impact on sustainability. They’re also advocating for sustainability certifications to foster transparency, reconfigure infrastructure to eliminate inefficiencies—and to accommodate future supply chain changes.

For more on how publishers and advertisers are collaborating to further responsible media download our new report today.