- Magna, an arm of IPG Mediabrands, created a new global leadership position devoted to overseeing media responsibility and partner relationships, per a press release.
- Elijah Harris will take on the new role as executive vice president of global digital partnerships and media responsibility. He joins Magna from its sibling agency Reprise, where he was global head of social.
- The appointment and creation of the new role comes amid the industry's heightened focus on diversifying media spend and strategy. Harris last year led the formation of Mediabrands' Media Responsibility Index, a tool to assess the impact of harmful social content and create a benchmark for platform responsibility and roadmaps for improvement.
The new position reflects Magna's push to advocate for a more responsible media marketplace, a goal that has grown increasingly important over the past few years throughout the advertising industry and online space at large.
With Mediabrands' Media Responsibility Index last year, parent company IPG demonstrated its commitment to pushing the ad world to modernize and keep pace with today's quickly evolving digital landscape. The report's goal was to raise industry standards around brand safety and media responsibility in advertising. Principles included in the Index assessed social platforms' efforts to protect the communities they serve, take accountability for their actions or missteps, and work to reduce hate speech, misinformation and disinformation — things that have plagued brands' online advertising efforts for years.
As of February 2021, social platforms appeared to be getting their houses somewhat in order when it came to brand safety and media responsibility. Mediabrands' latest Index showed. Top social apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat and YouTube, showed significant improvement in promoting respect, diversity, advertising transparency and police enforcement, among other principles.
Creating a new leadership role at Magna suggests these principles and media responsibility overall continue to expand as key focal points for IPG at a global level. Other agencies may follow suit in establishing global leadership positions dedicated to improving system problems within the digital media ecosystem, especially in light of ongoing conversations around social media and its role in society.
Naming Harris — who led the creation of the Media Responsibility Index — to the new role appears to be a natural step for IPG as it looks to integrate media responsibility into its core client approach. At the same time, it also keeps his expertise within the IPG family. He will report to Magna U.S. President Dani Benowitz and will serve as "an industry advocate for media responsibility across all media types within Mediabrands."