Brands and tech giants come together to launch first digital safety alliance

Sixteen of the world’s biggest advertisers including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Adidas and Mastercard have joined forces to launch a global alliance with the aim of improving digital safety.

Founded by the World Federation of Advertisers, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media is rallying publishers and platforms to do more to address harmful and misleading content. It also wants them to work together to develop and deliver against a concrete set of actions, processes and protocols for protecting people and brands.

Other advertisers involved include Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, General Mills, GSK Consumer Healthcare, LVMH, Mars, Mondelēz International, NBCUniversal, Nestlé and Shell, while experts at Dentsu, GroupM, IPG, Publicis and Omnicom Media Group will represent media agencies.

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In addition to Google and Facebook, media companies and platforms at launch include NBCUniversal, Teads, TRUSTX, Twitter, Unruly and Verizon Media, while supporting industry associations include the ANA, 4As, Interactive Advertising Bureau, ISBA, Mobile Marketing Association, Coalition for Better Ads, Effie Worldwide and WFA alongside their local advertising association members.

Speaking to Marketing Week at

“Civility of editorial comments and cross-platform measurement to ensure we don’t have excess frequency of advertising, that’s the next generation, which is one of the reasons why we’re now banding together as an industry consortium.”

An immediate focus will be to form and empower an inclusive working group charged with prioritising a set of concrete steps already under consideration by the Alliance.

This is the first time an alliance that represents all sides of the media industry is forming, underpinned by a working group committed to meeting regularly and reporting back on its progress to members and the industry.

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“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, Unilever’s EVP global media.

“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.”

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Isabel Massey, global media director, Diageo, adds: “We take our role as a responsible marketer very seriously, as do many others, which means there’s no better time to move the industry forward collectively.

“You’ll hear me start every meeting in Cannes with one simple question: ‘What more could we do together?’ I ask others to do the same.”

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The move follows the launch of the Conscious Advertising Network in the UK, voluntary coalition of brands, agencies, tech providers, and also NGOs and interest groups, which are working together on the idea that ethics need to catch up with the tech side of advertising.

It focuses on ad fraud, diversity, informed consent, hate speech, children’s wellbeing and fake news, aiming to tackle these six key issues. Companies including Accenture, The Body Shop, eCover and method have signed up, while the network is also supported by ISBA.

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