The past week has seen a reckoning begin over the content policies – or lack thereof – governing the big media platforms.
Major marketers, including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Diageo, are halting spend on social media at least through July.
But there’s always the danger than these efforts end up being an exercise in virtue signaling once they’re out of the headlines.
To keep the pressure on after this initial period of backlash, IPG Mediabrands has released media responsibility principles to help clients hold their media partners accountable for the content on their platforms.
Now is “the moment to seize on the opportunity to get this to resonate across the industry,” said Joshua Lowcock, chief digital officer at UM and global brand safety officer for IPG Mediabrands.
Unlike brand safety, media responsibility is about more than protecting a brand and its reputation – it’s about protecting the communities a brand serves and acknowledging the impact that media has on society.
The principles encourage clients to seek out suppliers that promote respectful discourse and represent diverse voices, and to divert spend from properties that create hostile environments, marginalize groups of people and/or peddle misinformation.
“Even a ‘brand safe environment’ has other implications to consider, like what is your content funding and does it result in harm to society?” Lowcock said.
Mediabrands is also encouraging clients to consider whether media partners use data for targeting in a nondiscriminatory way, how they protect the privacy of children and how well they enforce their own policies related to media quality.
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