Sydney, Australia – Media agency Mediahub has announced its partnership with programmatic technology provider Teads to create a global platform first partnership, designed to offer clients a unique Attention Guaranteed Buying model.

The partnership is targeted at streamlining the supply path, focusing on providing better quality impressions with less wastage, which will also assist their clients to reach their sustainability and ESG objectives.

Mediahub’s Head of Digital, Gerry Bowness, said that attention has been a hot topic in the industry, firmly placing itself into the measurement mix, however, he believed it was time to give clients a competitive advantage and provide better buying and trading methodologies that guarantee business results.

He added, “We’ve done extensive work in the Attention space over the past 2 years, culminating in the creation of custom bidding algorithms to give our clients a competitive edge. These algorithms enabled us to optimise campaigns in [real-time], delivering outstanding results – but buying [and] trading methods haven’t evolved at the same pace so we set about to change that.”

Bowness also explained that the unique Attention Guaranteed Buying model will start to move away from buying media on legacy metrics such as CPMs and CPCVs and will provide their clients with a zero-risk buying model that will guarantee results.

Meanwhile, Paul DaBell, head of sales NSW and QLD at Teads said, “Providing creative solutions has always been part of our DNA so partnering with Mediahub and developing a media buying solution that will genuinely benefit clients and grow their business is exactly what we are about.”

Mediahub’s Executive Director for APAC, Andrew Livingston, concluded, “At Mediahub, driving digital innovation reinforces our challenger positioning and with attention metrics emerging as the new beta currency in the digital space, it’s exciting to be at the forefront of the industry with this pioneering partnership with Teads.”

The partnership is effective April 12 this year immediately benefitting all Mediahub clients including recent pitch wins such as BSH (Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, and Neff) and Arla (Lurpak and Castello).

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) efforts and corporate practices have gained momentum in recent years, with businesses and consumers becoming more conscious about the impact of their investments and purchases on the environment and society. A PwC report says that institutional investors plan to increase ESG allocation in the next 2 years whilst Hong Kong and Singapore take the lead in Asia-Pacific – backed by financial regulatory authorities moving towards stronger ESG risk and reporting practices. 

From 1 Jan 2023 to 8 Mar 2023, there have been 638 mentions on ESG topics and a 12% lift in engagements across news sources in APAC compared to the previous period, according to Meltwater’s Explore solution.

Based on Edelman Trust Barometer 2022, societal leadership is now a core function of businesses. 88% of institutional investors subject ESG to the same level of scrutiny as financial and operational considerations. Meanwhile, 81% expect CEOs and Founders to be visible in public policy discourse and work their companies have done that has benefited society.

Strong sentiments amongst institutional investors in rejecting or stopping investment with an asset manager due to shortcomings in corporate ESG efforts or strategies, according to the PwC report, show how critical is sustainability in the decision-making process for stakeholders.

As the ESG journey is unique to each business and requires a tailored approach, meaningful reporting with full transparency is crucial to measuring and communicating the progress of a business’s ESG journey. 

However, effective communication, tracking, and measuring the impact of ESG strategies can seem like uncharted waters to some. Investing in such tools opens up a huge potential in driving relevance in communications strategy towards the public and stakeholders. By doing so, businesses can position themselves positively and authentically in the eyes of their stakeholders.

Multinational financial services company Western Union faced a challenge when it sought to assess its reputation and progress in meeting ESG standards. The company’s Social Listening, Analytics, and Insight department found it challenging to access and interpret the large volume of relevant data being generated daily. A tool that enables companies to track and evaluate their reputation across multiple channels, including broadcast news, digital news, blog forums, review sites, and social media platforms is much needed.

Technology of examining millions of posts each day from social media platforms, blogs, and news sites have enormous potential to help businesses make better-informed decisions based on insights and manage their ESG communications and company’s reputation on a global scale more effectively whilst staying up to date on industry changes or initiatives.

With comprehensive and integrated data, it’s easier to keep abreast of how your brand and industry are stacking up in the ESG space – which in turn enables your team to craft impactful initiatives or content strategies in the future.

Watch Meltwater’s on-demand webinar on “Measuring the Impact of ESG Strategies in APAC” to find out how you can track, measure, and optimise the effectiveness of your ESG communications. Get access to the content here.

This feature is done in collaboration with Meltwater.

The article above is written by Weldon Fung, Area Director for Southeast Asia at Meltwater.

Singapore – Disha Goenka Das, formerly the senior global marketing director at Twitter, has joined property technology company PropertyGuru, as its new chief marketing officer. In her new role, Das will oversee the group’s brand strategy, corporate communications function, as well as the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) mandate.

In addition, she will spearhead experiences across all offline and digital channels for the brand by taking forward the new brand positioning that reflects a strategic evolution in the group’s growth to move beyond property search to offering end-to-end property solutions for consumers, agents, developers, bankers, valuers and city planners. 

Das will report to Hari V. Krishnan, chief executive officer and managing director at PropertyGuru; and will now be part of PropertyGuru’s group leadership team.

During her stint at Twitter, she led the social media giant’s global strategy and built Twitter’s business brand globally. She was also previously the head of ad product commercialisation for Asia-Pacific at Google.

She brings into PropertyGuru a wide experience of strategic marketing and communications teams and cross-functional work streams, working extensively across over 30 markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Americas.

Speaking on her appointment, she said, “I am thrilled to join PropertyGuru Group at such an exciting and defining juncture in the company’s journey. Their vision and latest brand positioning, which seeks to be a trusted advisor that guides every step of the property journey deeply resonates with me.” 

She added, “My role is an exciting opportunity to contribute and make an impact on the Group’s role in the Southeast Asia property industry and I look forward to bringing my experience in tech and marketing to help offer solutions that continue to better all our stakeholder experiences.”

Meanwhile, Krishnan commented, “We are excited to have Disha join the team as our Chief Marketing Officer. She brings a strong skill set in technology marketing which is critical as we fuel PropertyGuru’s growth and guide all in the property sector to make confident decisions. Disha’s rich experience will aid the Group in our ambition to be a trusted advisor as we help people find, finance, and own their homes.” 

Das’ appointment follows its recent brand positioning, summarised under the phrase ‘Where every step of your journey will be guided by Guru’.

Melbourne, Australia – Red Havas has announced the launch of ‘Red Havas Impact’, the agency’s ESG communications offering, in Australia. This follows its launch in the USA, Europe, Middle East, and Africa in September this year.

Said offering brings together Red’s deep environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) expertise and capabilities from across the world. The practice is the result of increasing demand for global approaches to purpose-driven strategic communications. 

Red Havas has cultivated a deep understanding of purpose and ESG-driven communications with extensive global credentials and award-winning experience in purpose-driven work. Alongside global capabilities, Red Havas Impact draws on additional strengths from the broader Havas Village, particularly research and planning through Havas Labs, to offer insight-led strategic solutions.

Global CEO James Wright welcomed the launch of the new practice in the Australian market, which will be led by managing partner Matt Thomas from the agency’s Melbourne office and service clients across Australia and New Zealand.

“Red Havas Impact brings together the depth of experience within the global Red Havas micro-network combined with the powerful insights capabilities of our strategy and research teams to support clients to tackle the big issues of our day,” Wright said.

He added, “As a practice area, it draws together our expertise across sustainability, health, technology, employee communications and corporate communications, market research, strategy and brand to create work that helps our clients to meaningfully connect and make a positive difference to their stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, Thomas commented, “Across the globe we are seeing big shifts in the expectations from consumers, governments and communities that brands should do better and be better. Reputation, brand equity and social license to operate are now inextricably linked. Through Red Havas Impact we leverage skills and experience from across Havas Australia’s service offerings, informed by global best practice, to help our clients to navigate this often complex space.”

Malaysia Media services company Trapper has recently announced a strategic partnership with data and business intelligence agency Ikano Insight to launch consultancy and advanced analytics services for environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-centric transformation practices.

Trapper and Ikano Insight will be providing their expertise in machine learning and IoT learning, amongst others, for tracking and optimisation, big data analytics and visualisation, sustainability framework and measurement consultation, as well as internalisation and go-to-market strategies.

The partnership aims to enable and empower businesses to transform their sustainability practices to meet internal ESG targets in a transparent, accountable, and accurate way with the use of data.

This is in connection with independent audits stating that companies performing ESG practices obtain higher financial growth and optimisation, lower volatility, higher employee productivity, reduced regulatory and legal interventions, improved top-line growth, and ultimately, reduced costs.

Whilst ESG is becoming a trend among businesses and investors, Trapper Group CEO Sue-Anne Lim says that many companies do not realise that they are ‘greenwashing’. She further explains, “Many companies are marketing themselves as ESG practitioners because of oncoming financial pressures. However, in their haste to go to market with ESG messaging, brands do not realise that they are greenwashing and we’ve seen public backlash from well-intentioned campaigns.”

On partnering with Ikano Insight, Lim said, “Ikano Insight specialises in advanced retail and sustainability analytics, supporting businesses such as IKEA for over 10 years. They are the perfect partner because data-first sustainability practices are in the DNA of the Ikano Group. Their expertise in operational transformation using data insights is second to none.”

ST Chua, Ikano Insight’s regional director of Southeast Asia, said, “There are two parts to a successful ESG plan — one is having the right goals and measurement, and the other is a strong change management plan.”

“Ikano Insight harnesses data, technology and advanced analytics to define, measure, visualise and deliver actionable insights for businesses to know how every part of the business is doing against its target. We see Trapper as a complementary partner to offer a holistic change management plan for clients,” Chua added.

Trapper has also previously partnered with satellite communication services premium supplier MEASAT for the latter’s prepaid WiFi satellite broadband service CONNECTme NOW.

Singapore – IPG Mediabrands and its intelligence arm MAGNA have unveiled the 4th issue of its signature Media Responsibility Index (MRI 4.0), an initiative that strives to raise industry awareness and standards around harm reduction for brands and consumers in advertising.

The media agency has beefed up its MRI 4.0 with a number of enhancements, starting from the increase in the number of its subjects from 10 social platforms to now more than 150 partners from a variety of media formats across 15 countries. Through this, the media agency said it has transformed the index to now become an actionable toolset.

Further to the changes, the new MRI 4.0 has established four new ESG-aligned priorities for partner accountability.

“We developed our first media responsibility index in 2020 to determine exact protocols of the major platforms, as people started questioning the impact of social media in their lives, from the prevalence of misinformation to hate speech and data-collection practices,” said Elijah Harris, EVP of Global Digital Partnerships & Media Responsibility at MAGNA.

The original MRI, which is a first-of-its kind, was launched in August 2020, in response to concerns about social media platforms not taking steps to acknowledge, measure and reduce their contribution to online and real-world harms.

The newly improved index further allows for teams and clients to incorporate brand and consumer safety priorities into their investment decision-making for a variety of media types, from the largest global social platforms to local broadcast media outlets.

MRI 4.0 has assessed each outlet across four priorities of partner accountability—Safety, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Data Ethics—in alignment with industry-adopted ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) frameworks so businesses can easily extend how they are measuring their impact in these spaces to include media. Previous versions of the MRI had ranked the platforms upon Mediabrands’ 10 Media Responsibility Principles, which are now consolidated within the four priorities.

The 150+ major partners that were surveyed expand into the realms of Broadcast & Cable, Connected TV, Online Video, and Display. Across Broadcast & Cable, the traditional-first networks also span several subsidiary companies across Connected TV and Online Video properties. The findings illuminated that strict, longstanding federal regulations within Broadcast & Cable have had a trickle-down effect on their digital properties, in effect enhancing safety standards when compared to digital-first counterparts surveyed.

Harris added, “We have always believed in the need to bring the lens of media responsibility to a broader set of media types. Consumers digest content and opinions from an ever-increasing list of mediums. It only made sense that this [rigour] we’ve developed for social platforms would be translated for a more diversified mix of media partners. With each iteration, the MRI is becoming more robust and establishing itself as a mainstay in driving industry accountability and powering responsible advertising investment.”

Some of the notable findings of the latest index include how social media platforms showed continued improvement across the four priorities (averaging +3-point in overall performance). It had also been found that Safety is a standout priority for broadcast & cable, based in part on federal industry regulations forcing uniformity and 3rd party enforcement in safety standards – including children’s safety rules and advertising approvals.

Tech-proficient digital-first CTV partners are also now driving higher Data Ethics performance than their traditional-first counterparts, in part due to their origins and operating in a more tech-oriented space, versus a TV-first space.

The index also found that in a mixed marketplace for Sustainability practices, online video platforms showed strength in their ad-business emissions measurement and in setting net-zero goals.

Singapore – Peer-to-peer lending platform MoolahSense in Singapore has announced the launch of its newest platform GreenMoolah, which is focused on accelerating green and sustainable financing in Singapore and the region for SMEs.

This is in response to the growing global demand for green and sustainable financing among regional and local authorities, including businesses, that are scaling up efforts to support the reduction of emissions, yet poses a problem for SMEs who are on the search for affordable loans.

The goal of GreenMoolah is to provide a crowdfunding platform to assist SMEs who have been left out to understand and embark on projects within the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) framework, as well as to showcase to investors on how sustainable financing can be profitable.

“This not only provides positive contributions to the environment, but also helps investors to embrace the idea of sustainable financing. Such efforts are consistent with commitments under the Singapore Green Plan 2030 to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development, and places emphasis on the importance of driving high-integrity green finance,” the company said in a press statement.

Leveraging on the GreenTrust Framework, a digital utility spearheaded by MoolahSense as the key underlying technology for interoperability and verification, end-to-end financing for SMEs on the GreenMoolah platform can be instantly authenticated, digitally processed and provenance tracing obtained simply by scanning a QR code that’s embedded into the digital certificates.

For Andrew Quek, investment director at MoolahSense, he believes that most SME owners will want to play their part in the efforts towards sustainability, and yet as business owners, their primary focus would be on profitability. He also added that with limited resources in both manpower and finance, and insufficient related experience, it makes embarking on transformation even more challenging for them

“Through MoolahSense, the green framework we have developed and in the near future digitized with the use of technology like blockchain and IOT, it makes understanding assessments and reporting easier,” Quek stated.

The introduction of the GreenMoolah platform also aims to facilitate the adoption of more sustainable projects within society. With its integration and digitization processes, GreenMoolah is able to reduce the steps needed for applications and at the same time, educate businesses owners on an easy to adopt and transparent process, so that they are able to return and use the GreenMoolah platform in the future.

Hong Kong – PR Newswire, the press release distribution service under media company Cision, has launched its very first handbook dedicated to shine light on communications of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) across Asia-Pacific.

Said handbook covers the importance of ESG by spotlighting top companies’ practices such as Cisco, Apple, and American Express, wherein they shared how they develop effective strategies and best practices on communicating ESG activities to the media.

Some of the notable insights included in the handbook include 10 pointers on how brands can develop effective ESG communication strategies, eight common types of press releases to help brands craft news angles for their news as well as a list of company trendsetters that have already incorporated ESG strategies in their business endeavors.

According to the handbook, the common ESG press releases being shared on their platform include announcing key wins at industry awards, and sharing results of initiatives such as building environmentally friendly factories and introducing green solutions.

“ESG initiatives can shape and influence investors and the public’s perception of brands. In recent years, more listed companies are starting to pay attention to crafting ESG strategies and publishing data. The pandemic has accelerated interest in this burgeoning field, with more companies showing their commitment to areas such as sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI),” the company said in a press statement.

In the first half of 2021, PR Newswire distributed a growing number of press releases related to topics such as climate change and carbon neutrality across the APAC region. The number of releases distributed increased from 23 in January to 284 in June. 

According to the company, industries that are more active in ESG communications include energy, business technology, industrial automation, health/medical/biotech, consumer products and retail, and finance and insurance.

Singapore – ‘Start Digital’, a digital initiative started by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore for SME support, is refreshing their existing digital solutions in order to provide newly incorporated SMEs or those that have yet to digitize with foundational and easy-to-deploy digital solutions.

Initially launched in January 2019, the Start Digital program has helped more than 30,000 SMEs to adopt various digital transformation strategies for their businesses, known collectively as the ‘Start Digital Pack’. These solutions are offered across six partners, namely financial institutions DBS, Maybank, OCBC, and UOB, as well as telco Singtel and M1.

Start Digital is offering three new and enhanced categories:

  • Digital Collaboration – These enable employees to work from home or any other convenient locations. Examples include Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.
  • Digital Marketing – Tools that provide SMEs with templates to create social media ads and manage their digital ad buys and placements on a single platform. This allows SMEs to easily manage targeted digital marketing campaigns and reach out to consumers on social media.
  • Digital Transactions – InvoiceNow-linked solutions offered by bank partners are integrated with e-payment including PayNow Corporate to enable SMEs to generate/receive e-invoices through InvoiceNow and receive/make e-payments seamlessly. These solutions help SMEs improve transaction accuracy and administrative productivity. Both e-invoicing and e-payments are part of digital utilities which IMDA is putting in place as baseline infrastructure for the digital economy. Similar to their physical counterparts, digital utilities provide common standards and ease of transactions for businesses. 

Start Digital initially included accounting, human resource management system and payroll, digital marketing, digital transactions and cybersecurity solutions. 

“Based on feedback from SMEs and Start Digital partners, IMDA and Enterprise Singapore are enhancing Start Digital to include new solutions that will enable SMEs to collaborate seamlessly with internal and external parties, and gain new customers,” according to a factsheet released by IMDA and Enterprise Singapore.

Both institutions have been proactive in driving support for SMEs and startups based on digital transformation strategies. Earlier this year, Enterprise Singapore supported the launch of the PlanetSpark Innovation Centre to focus on tech startups seeking to deploy artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) to the market.