Newly Created GroupM Position Aims for Greater Quality in Digital Advertising

By Erik Oster 

WPP media investment group GroupM appointed John Montgomery to the newly-created position of global executive vice president of brand safety.

In the role Montgomery will work with GroupM’s community of digital advertising and media trading experts at GroupM agencies including MindShare, MEC, MediaCom and Maxus to create a coherent set of global standards operationalizing safety standards for GroupM clients in all advertising markets and ensuring compliance with anti-fraud regulations. He will report to global chief digital officer Rob Norman.

“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,” Norman said in a statement. “And 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 joined GroupM as North American chairman of GroupM Connect in January of 2015. Before that he served as he served as COO of GroupM Interaction for North America , leading the digital data strategy, innovation and policy for the group. He served as CEO of Ogilvy Group Netherlands back in 2001, before relocating to New York to lead the Interactive media practice for MindShare and Ogilvy. He was then appointed as Global CEO of MindShare Interaction in 2006.

“John Montgomery understands that brands, agencies, publishers, and technology companies share equal responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the digital advertising supply chain, so that we can inspire the trust of consumers and guarantee them the best possible experiences with interactive media and the advertisers that support it,” said IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg.

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