John Montgomery appointed GroupM’s global head of brand safety | M&M Global

John Montgomery appointed GroupM’s global head of brand safety

WPP’s GroupM has appointed John Montgomery as global executive vice president of brand safety to increase adoption of viewability and ad blocking best practices in international markets, with an eye on industry self-regulation.


Montgomery will report to global chief digital officer Rob Norman, whilst working across Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, Essence, Xaxis and others to create a coherent set of global brand safety standards.

“Clients want to know their brands are safe and that the digital components of their media plans are effective in every region in which they operate,” said Norman. “Importantly, they deserve to get what they’re paying for — the engagement of their targeted audiences with their brand messages, accountably and safely.

“John is one of the world’s foremost authorities on digital brand safety. He holds the respect of clients, media partners, and regulators for his innovative thinking and practical approaches to making digital advertising respectful of consumers, more effective for advertisers and consequently a viable business for publishers.”

Montgomery started at WPP in 1989 as Ogilvy South Africa media director, going on to launch Mindshare in the region. He is currently GroupM Connect chairman in North America, working to expand the group’s programmatic capabilities.

“GroupM’s advocacy for higher quality standards in digital in the US continues to be challenging, but rewarding, and I believe the entire industry has benefited,” said Montgomery.

“The US digital marketplace is today a better platform for advertisers, and this ultimately makes it a stronger ecosystem for content owners and consumers over the long-term. Going global with these efforts promises to be an even bigger lift given the differences among players and platforms, as well as vendor and marketplace readiness in different countries.

“However, marketing is increasingly a global enterprise and it demands a borderless ecosystem that shares in basic standards, practices and nomenclature supporting brand safety. I am excited to help GroupM drive this agenda.”

As well as his work with GroupM, Montgomery is chair of the 4As Media Leadership Council, has served on the Internet Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and co-chairs the anti-piracy initiative for the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), frequently representing the advertising industry to the US Senate Commerce Committee.

“John has been an excellent partner to the IAB and our member publishers and we applaud GroupM for creating a senior role focused on digital supply chain integrity and brand safety,” commented IAB chief executive officer and president Randall Rothenberg. “We look forward to continuing our productive collaboration with John in this important new global role.”

This appointment comes shortly after GroupM EMEA chief executive officer Dominic Granger was appointed president of European agency body EACA. 

Anna Dobbie


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