More than 80 Quebec and Canadian companies have publicly pledged to support local media in a context where Meta and Google are elbowing with the federal government, we learned in an announcement made Monday.

As of this writing, 81 companies have signed the “I Support the Local Media Movement” pledge, an initiative launched by the Association of Creative Communication Agencies (A2C) on July 5.

By joining, signatories certify that they already invest a minimum of 25% of their annual digital marketing budget in Canadian media platforms, that they commit to implementing a strategy to reach this percentage or that they are a communications agency that comes up with plans to make it happen.

It is therefore a collective effort which essentially aims to maintain a strong media ecosystem, at a time when the media is experiencing an unprecedented crisis.

“It’s very positive, we are very happy to see the enthusiasm of the companies that are present for the local media,” said Dominique Villeneuve, President and CEO of the A2C, in an interview.

In the list, which is public, we find the names of several companies well known to the Quebec population. Desjardins, Loto-Québec, VIA Rail Canada, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ or the Producteurs de lait du Québec are a few examples.

The major media have also chosen to get involved. This is particularly the case for La Presse, Quebecor, Radio-Canada, Cogeco, Télé-Québec and Bell Media.

“The list, it’s going to keep growing. We want to create a snowball effect to have a positive long-term impact. It is a lasting solution that relies on the efficiency of local media, ”says Ms. Villeneuve.

On June 22, hours before Bill C-18 would receive Royal Assent, Meta announced the upcoming end of media availability on Facebook and Instagram. A week later, Google imitated Meta by signaling its intention to stop relaying Canadian news in its search engine.

They were responding to the upcoming enforcement of the Online News Act, which will eventually force web giants to offer compensation to media who share their content on their platforms.

In response to these draconian measures, the two levels of government, major cities and the majority of Quebec media suspended the purchase of advertisements on Facebook and Instagram at the beginning of July.

“We encourage them to come back to the table, to negotiate to find common ground,” Dominique Villeneuve told Meta and Google.

The Local Media Movement was launched by the A2C in May 2020 to provide “concrete support” to local media companies, which it considers essential.