Advertisers Launch Anti-Hate Speech Pledge

Association of National Advertisers

The Association of National Advertisers is looking to combat online hate speech, one of the issues that has Washington looking to regulate online platforms and that makes those platforms less attractive as an advertising vehicle.

ANA on Wednesday (March 16) published (in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Hispanic Ad) an #EngageResponsibly pledge in, which it says that almost 100 marketing agencies, media companies, social media outlets, trade groups and nongovernmental groups have signed on to.

The pledge is to do their part to "drastically reduce" online hate speech by leveraging the power of "big brands" and Big Tech.

That pledge "recommends" the following:

1. "Supporting consumers and communities by leveraging the voice of their brands via social media and other outlets to amplify #EngageResponsibly and drive society to large-scale action and education.

2. "Engaging customers and partners by distributing #EngageResponsibly educational materials and supporting content through small and midsize business networks, including franchisee and distributor channels, agency partners, and diverse-owned media companies.

3. "Involving employees and stakeholders in the initiative by using the online education content to strengthen their understanding of online hate speech’s real-life consequences and providing them with the tools to act.

4. "Demonstrating a true commitment to the most marginalized and vulnerable groups by reporting hate speech whenever and wherever it appears."

ANA said that over the next several months a "robust set of assets" will roll out in support of the campaign, including free tools to promote responsible media practices, speech to counter hate, and a way to report online hate speech, including a dedicated web site. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.