Advertisers, agencies and platforms unite against hate speech, bullying and disinformation

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 19 June 2019

The world's biggest advertisers have joined with agencies and media platforms to fight hate speech, bullying and disinformation.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) describes the Global Alliance for Responsible Media as an unprecedented, global collaboration with agencies, media companies and platforms, and industry associations to rapidly improve digital safety.

Members of the alliance recognise the role that advertisers can play in collectively pushing to improve the safety of online environments.

Together, they are collaborating with publishers and platforms to do more to address harmful and misleading media, and to develop and deliver against a set of actions, processes and protocols for protecting brands.

The Alliance enlists advertisers including Adidas, Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, General Mills, GSK Consumer Healthcare, LVMH, Mars, Incorporated, Mastercard, Mondelēz International, NBCUniversal, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Shell, and Unilever.

Media agencies are represented by experts at Dentsu, GroupM, IPG, Publicis Media, and Omnicom Media Group, representing media agencies; 

Media companies and platforms at launch include Facebook, Google/YouTube, Teads, TRUSTX, Twitter, Unruly, and Verizon Media.

Supporting industry associations in clude ANA, 4A’s, Interactive Advertising Bureau, ISBA, Mobile Marketing Association, Coalition for Better Ads, Effie Worldwide and WFA alongside their local advertising association members.

An immediate focus will be to form an inclusive working group charged with developing a set of initial ideas and prioritising next steps.

The first formal meeting of the Alliance takes place today at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity at WPP Beach. 

The Global Alliance for Responsible Media was formed to identify specific collaborative actions, processes and protocols for protecting consumers and brands from safety issues.

Alliance members will work collaboratively to identify actions that will better protect consumers online, working towards a media environment where hate speech, bullying and disinformation is challenged, where personal data is protected, and used responsibly when given, and where everyone is, especially children, better protected online. 

“When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act," says Luis Di Como, EVP Global Media, Unilever. 

"We’ve achieved a lot through Unilever’s Responsibility Framework but to do more, we must do it together. Founding this Alliance is a great step towards rebuilding trust in our industry and society.”

Robert Rakowitz, Global Head of Media, Mars, says media and advertising are fundamental forces that shape how we connect, make key decisions, and shape our world view.

"The status quo is untenable, and our work through the Alliance will allow us to shift from driving reach at all costs to building reach with responsibility," he says.

"The uncommon collaboration and shared accountability we are starting here is essential." 

Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA, sasy the alliance as an essential next step following the Media Charter published in Cannes last year. 

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