Singapore – Media investment company GroupM has appointed Anito Munro to the role of chair of the APAC investment council, on top of her new role as chief investment officer for Southeast Asia and North Asia. Munro will be steering the group’s investment strategy across the burgeoning markets in the region from 1 April 2022. 

Munro will be part of GroupM’s APAC leadership team, reporting to Ashutosh Srivastava, CEO of GroupM APAC, and Andrew Meaden, GroupM’s global chief investment officer.

With two decades of agency experience, Munro crosses over from GroupM’s agency Mindshare, where she was most recently chief investment officer of Mindshare for APAC. At Mindshare, she had led the media business for LVMH at L’Atelier; while throughout her tenure in APAC, Munro has led the investment activities for key client accounts including Unilever, L’Oréal, Huawei, Ford, Jetstar, Mondelez, and more.

Speaking about her appointment, she said that with GroupM’s global scale and unparalleled reach, they are poised to shape a new era of media by helping clients apportion their media spend for good, while extracting maximum value for their investments.

“As the first woman to helm the chair role on our regional investment committee, I’m thrilled to be part of an organisation that’s leading the charge to cultivate greater equity and diversity across the entire industry. Together with our investment community, I look forward to continuing creating value for clients across the entire media supply chain, and propel us towards a more sustainable and vibrant media future,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Srivastava commented, “Anita’s diverse experience across a plethora of roles that span client leadership, investment, strategic planning and operations has gifted her with a deep appreciation and understanding of the holistic business as well as the investment needs of clients and markets.” 

She added, “As we continue to help our clients evolve their media strategies in an increasingly digital and biddable world, Anita will undoubtedly be a transformative force in stewarding responsible investment that will make advertising work better for people.”

London, United Kingdom – Media investment analysis company Ebiquity has announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire MediaPath Network and a definitive agreement to acquire Media Management Inc (MMi).

MediaPath is a leading global media consulting company specialising in agency selection processes, media performance measurement, and media benchmarking; while Media Management is a US-focused media audit services firm providing clients with transparency and accountability across all media channels for national and local media, and agency performance validation.

Speaking about the acquisitions, Nick Waters, global CEO at Ebiquity, said, “These moves mark a major milestone for Ebiquity. MediaPath and MMi are both highly respected companies operating in our space. Susanne and Thomas share our values and our vision for what the media industry can be and how we can serve it. Both businesses bring great teams, fantastic clients, and high-quality technology enablement.”

Meanwhile, Susanne Elias, founder of MediaPath, commented, “Using technology for innovation and delivery of our services to our clients has been a key driver for us and that now combined with Ebiquity’s global reach, broad service offerings as well as highly skilled team of media specialists creates stellar opportunities for our combined businesses, clients and teams all over the world.”

Lastly, Thomas Bridge, founder at MMi, stated, “MMi is excited to join the Ebiquity family, expanding our coverage domestically and internationally for our clients. This step further reinforces MMi’s commitment to our team and our clients in continuing our work in driving third-party media accountability.”

Both deals were signed on 29 March 2022. MMi is expected to complete on or around 4 April 2022, while MediaPath is expected to complete on or around 22 April 2022.

Singapore – In line with the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has called upon its member organisations to reconsider their media and marketing investment in Russia, specifically those investing in media outlets that are close to or effectively part of the Russian administration.

In a statement, they stated that they will continue to work with its members and partners in the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) to ensure that advertising investment does not support or monetise misinformation and will be holding weekly meetings to provide the latest intelligence from members, agencies and platforms.

Stephan Loerke, CEO at WFA, said, “In light of the horrifying events in Ukraine, the global marketing industry must speak out. Every company will have to make its own decision but our recommendation is that media investment and marketing in Russia should end for now.”

The organisation further expressed its horror at the needless human suffering caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, adding that the thoughts of the entire organisation and their membership are with the victims.

WFA also conducted a poll amongst its members to understand multinationals’ responses in relation to their media and marketing investment in Russia. Of the 31 global brand owners representing US$43bn in global ad spend who responded, three in four have reallocated, reduced or cut spend altogether.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused massive shifts in the marketing and advertising scene as well. Large companies related to media investment such as WPP and Accenture have pulled out of Russia in solidarity with Ukraine. Other major brands, from retail ones like H&M, Uniqlo, and Ikea; food brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca-Cola; as well as financial services brands like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are part of the growing number of companies exiting the country.

Media-wise, tech giant Google also announced that it is halting its ad sales in Russia, including advertising to Russia state-controlled media on YouTube. Meanwhile, Russia has since then blocked popular online services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and PayPal in the country.