Many of the major players in online advertising have come together to create an organization called the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which is supposed to focus on “digital safety.”
In this context, that means safety for brand marketers, who want to ensure that their ads aren’t running alongside hateful, misleading or otherwise controversial content.
For example, a number of advertisers reportedly suspended their work with YouTube earlier this year over concerns that the platform’s algorithm was directing viewers to exploitative clips of children. This also comes amidst broader concern over whether social media companies are doing enough to police the content on their platforms.
What the Global Alliance for Responsible Media will actually do remains vague, at least judging from today’s announcement, which was made at this week’s Cannes Lions event for advertisers. The organization says its first steps will be to “form and empower an inclusive working group charged with developing a set of initial ideas and prioritizing next steps.”
For now, then, the alliance is more notable for who’s involved. The advertisers include brands like Adidas, Bayer, General Mills, Mondelēz International, NBCUniversal, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, as well as big agencies like Dentsu, GroupM, IPG, Publicis Media and Omnicom Media Group. Facebook, Google/YouTube, Teads, TRUSTX, Twitter, Unruly and Verizon Media (which owns TechCrunch) have signed on as well, as have trade groups like the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
While the plans sound vague for now, Facebook’s vice president for global account partnerships Will Platt-Higgins told Ad Age that that won’t be true for long: “They want to get runs on the board, not be a committee. They and we believe that building an alliance of leading advertisers, leading agencies, media companies and the industry bodies is the best way of doing that versus just the clients or just the agencies.”