Citing Rapid Improvement, Mediabrands Strikes Exclusive, 3-Year Deal With TikTok

A year after finding it the least responsible of the major social media platforms, IPG Mediabrands is going all in with TikTok, unveiling a new, three-year "creator and content" initiative with the company to develop custom campaigns for IPG clients.

While TikTok ranked a distant last among nine social media networks based on Mediabrands' and Reprise's initial Media Responsibility Index when it was released in August 2020, it noted in an update released in February that TikTok had also "made the most significant progress due to our results in our last report in August [2020]."

IPG Mediabrands did not release its updated index rankings, but it implied TikTok's improvement was a direct result of the agency publishing its initial benchmark data, and noted:

"As TikTok’s growth surged in 2020, the platform demonstrated an ability to take a forward-looking approach to building its platform with the index’s key principles in mind, and the second half 2020 assessment results reflect a marked pivot toward enhanced third-party brand safety partnerships," IPG Mediabrands said in a statement, adding: "The latest Index results newly introduce TikTok's increased focus on principle 3: Diverse and Representative -- a principle they were not able to provide substantial public data for in 1H 2020. TikTok also saw substantial shifts in their third-party brand safety partnerships and policy enforcement approaches."



As part of this morning's creator and content initiative announcement, IPG Mediabrands Global CEO Daryl Lee reiterated TikTok's responsibility improvement, and implied it was part of the agency's decision to give its clients "unique access to the immense content and entertainment capabilities of TikTok."

Offering a more pragmatic perspective, Dani Benowitz, president of IPG Mediabrands' Magna unit, noted that it is also an important strategic deal.

“As audience reach declines in traditional formats, it is critical that client budgets fund new ways to connect with audiences," she stated, adding, "This partnership will deliver incredible value to our clients and, as importantly, will help all of us learn the power of creating content communities at scale.”

As part of today's announcement, the companies said they would also work together to "develop innovative, creative strategies to benefit nonprofit organizations and elevate underrepresented communities on the platform," noting that TikTok was a recent participant in the Equity Upfront, hosted by Magna.

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