Big advertisers often take the lead on issues regarding hate speech and media responsibility, but small businesses make up the bulk of online advertisers.
That’s why the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) are expanding their efforts to combat hate speech to small and medium businesses with an initiative launched Monday called #EngageResponsibly.
GARM, which launched 2020 with backing from the ANA, Pernod Ricard and other major global advertisers, has been focused on working with big brands and social media platforms to combat online hate speech through educational materials and industry standards for reporting.
The #EngageResponsibly initiative, developed with the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) and the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) will broaden access to educational resources for small businesses and consumers to understand hate speech, how it links to violence and how to take action using platforms’ existing reporting tools for free. Small businesses will also receive material about how to manage brand safety.
The coalition will launch a campaign to encourage small businesses and consumers to take action when they see hate speech online. The campaign will run on social media and will come together in an event for NGOs, big brands, small businesses, platforms, influencers and consumers to discuss how to eliminate online hate speech.
The ANA and GARM will ask companies to sign a pledge to provide support and commit tangible actions to combat online hate speech ahead of the campaign launch.
“Our ambition is to engage all [small businesses],” said Bob Liodice, CEO at the ANA in an email, noting that the ANA Small and Midsize Company Council consists of 100 members. “Our effort will provide small and mid-sized businesses with a no-cost solution that matches the brand safety protocols used by those organizations committed to responsible advertising under the GARM framework.”
To reach small businesses, the ANA is reaching out to organizations that represent SMBs, as well as companies with small-business customer relationship management platforms.
#EngageResponsibly will be developed by the GARM education working group, which is comprised of GARM and ANA members, as well as executive reps from tech platforms.
GARM is an organization that aims to bring together advertisers, agencies, media companies, platforms and other industry organizations to improve digital safety.