Global advertising agencies join forces to tackle dangerous content online

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June 19, 2019
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Advertisers Assemble! This is the call that seems to be emanating around the world as sixteen of the world’s biggest advertisers have teamed up to fight against undesirable content online and ensuring that the Internet is a safer and fairer space for everyone.

This ultimate group of advertising agencies, known as the Global Alliance for Responsible Media will consist of media buying groups and platform owners from some of the biggest ad groups, including WPP, IPG, Publicis, Omnicom and Dentsu. This announcement was made on Tuesday at the advertising industry’s annual meeting in the coastal city of Cannes in France.

One of the most undesirable and potentially dangerous pieces of content online is fake news, which is propagated largely by social media. This will naturally involve a move to compel Facebook, Google and YouTube to do much more about ridding our online space of misleading as well as generally harmful content.

While platforms like Facebook have made attempts to remove such content, it is clearly not enough. Sharing and spreading of fake news continues to this day, to the extent where it has become necessary to statistically study it.

Executive Vice President of global media at Unilever Luis Di Comi stated that this was the first instance of industry powerhouses coming together to tackle an indisputably serious problem.

“When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act,” he said. “Founding this alliance is a great step toward rebuilding trust in our industry and society.”

He went on to explain that prioritizing their goals would be important, which is why the group would first attempt to take down content that is an active danger to society, such as terrorist propaganda.

He also believes that the right way to solve this problem would be to take a drastically different approach; platform owners need to stop dealing with undesirable content reactively i.e. remove it once it has appeared online and favor a proactive approach, which would prevent the content from ever surfacing at all.

Other huge names involved in this grand team of content fighters include Adidas, Danone, Diageo, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble and Nestle.

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