Local Media Consortium, Brand Safety Institute Partner On Local News Advertising Whitelist

In an effort to boost revenue for local media and advertising opportunities for national brands during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, the Local Media Consortium (LMC), Brand Safety Institute, and consultant-IAB Tech Lab founder Scott Cunningham have partnered to create a Local News Advertising Whitelist.

The whitelist includes more than 3,000 local media outlets that have been vetted as brand-safe choices, organized by geography across the U.S. and culled from the LMC’s membership of 90 local media organizations.

“The LMC’s Local News Advertising Whitelist is launching at a time when local media companies are working overtime to deliver impactful life-saving news to their audiences, stretching resources to the limits,” stated Fran Wills, CEO of the Local Media Consortium. “Now, more than ever, local media organizations need the revenue generated by advertising from national brands and companies so they can focus on delivering vital reporting on a daily basis.”



Since the outbreak of COVID-19, news publishers have seen ad revenue shrink as brands block all content associated with the crisis. This has resulted in missed opportunities on both sides, due to an overabundance of caution from advertisers navigating the news cycle and tools that restrict nuanced approaches to programmatic buying.

The whitelist provides a balanced approach for brands as it allow them to consider the audiences they could reach through trusted news channels.

“The Brand Safety Institute is committed to protecting brands and news readers from inappropriate ad placement, particularly during an ongoing national crisis,” stated Mike Zaneis, cofounder of the Brand Safety Institute and CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group. “But automatically blacklisting ad placements within reputable local media platforms isn’t the solution. The Local News Advertising Whitelist allows advertisers with timely messages an opportunity to reach a highly engaged and untapped audience while still providing safeguards.”

Cunningham noted: “The advertising industry is increasingly recognizing the unintended consequences of blacklisting on programmatic ad buying and is receptive to more finely tuned solutions.”

The Local News Advertising Whitelist is free to use by advertisers and includes local media companies like McClatchy, Nexstar Media, Los Angeles Times, Lee Enterprises and Cox Media Group. 

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