Amid C-18 row, media group urges advertisers to pledge 25% of budgets to local news – National |

canadian local news Providers set to hit revenue amid Ottawa fallout 8">Bill C-18The head of a national media group has warned advertisers in a letter urging dedicated spending to support smaller players.

passage of Bill C-18, dubbed online news actJune faced sharp retaliation from tech giants Meta and Alphabet.

The law aims to force large Internet and streaming platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to compensate Canadian news outlets for the content they display on their platforms. But both tech giants said they would block access to Canadian news content on their platforms in protest of the bill.

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The move will not only lead to a loss of potential revenue the Bill C-18 seeks to compel platforms to pay media organizations, but will also reduce traffic on news organizations’ content.

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but in one open letter to advertisers and other stakeholders in the Canadian media industry, Shannon Lewis, president of the Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC), argues that sector leaders can exert influence “independent” of both Ottawa’s legislation and the ambitions of big tech.

The letter, published on Tuesday, called on media and advertising companies to spend 25 percent of their online digital marketing budgets through local media. According to Lewis, one out of every four advertising dollars spent on local media would contribute $380 million to support local Canadian journalism, which he said would eclipse the revenue projections associated with the bill C-18.

The call comes amid declining advertising for Canadian news over the years as ad money has gone to the tech giants, Lewis wrote. About 23.1 percent of advertising dollars in the country went to Canadian and local media in 2014; Five years later, this figure came down to 5.7 per cent, he wrote.

In the last 15 years, he said, 473 local news outlets have closed, affecting more than 300 communities across Canada.

Global News’ parent company, Corus Entertainment, also owns local newsrooms and radio stations in communities across the country.

Lewis argued that the “robust and sustainable” media landscape in Canada is even better for advertisers, giving them the ability to reach audiences through “trusted sources in a brand-safe environment”.

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“I’m reaching out to you today and asking you to support our shared goal of protecting and strengthening local news in Canada,” she wrote.

“Your leadership and actions matter, and together we can make a significant impact.”

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Bill C-18: Canada announces it will suspend government ads on Facebook, Instagram

It’s unclear what the lasting result of the Google and Meta blockades on Canadian news links will be.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said earlier this week that he was “very disappointed” by META’s stance, which he called “irresponsible”.

He said he is more than pleased with Google, which has also said it will block news from Canadian publishers, but that discussions are ongoing with the government about what Big Tech regulation might look like.

With files from The Canadian Press

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