New WFA alliance is “fantastic opportunity” says Norm Johnston

Today in Cannes, Unruly joined 16 of the world’s leading advertisers as they announced the Global Alliance for Responsible Media: an unprecedented, global collaboration with agencies, media companies and platforms, and industry associations to rapidly improve digital safety.

WFA panel (from left to right) Lisa Granatstein, Isabel Massey, Rob Rakowitz, Carolyn Everson, Luis Di Como

With nearly 3.8 billion people online, the world is increasingly connected, and yet the increase in dangerous, hateful, disruptive and fake content online risks threatening our global community.

Members of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media recognize the role that advertisers can play in collectively pushing to improve the safety of online environments. Together, they are rallying publishers and platforms to do more to address harmful and misleading content and to work together to develop and deliver against a concrete set of actions, processes and protocols for protecting people and brands.

The Alliance was founded by the World Federation of Advertisers members and will also be championed by the ANA CMO Growth Council, a member organization of the WFA. This effort enlists:

  • Advertisers including Adidas, Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, General Mills, GSK
    Consumer Health, LVMH, Mars, Incorporated, Mastercard, Mondelēz International,
    NBCUniversal, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Shell, and Unilever;
  • Experts at Dentsu, GroupM, IPG, Publicis and Omnicom Media Group, representing
    media agencies;
  • Media companies and platforms at launch include Facebook, Google/YouTube,
    NBCUniversal; Teads; TRUSTX; Twitter; Unruly and Verizon Media; and
  • Supporting industry associations ANA, 4A’s, Interactive Advertising Bureau, ISBA,
    Mobile Marketing Association, Coalition for Better Ads, Effie Worldwide and WFA
    alongside their local advertising association members.

U7 member Luis Di Como, EVP Global Media, Unilever commented: “When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act. 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.”

An immediate focus will be to form and empower an inclusive working group charged with prioritizing 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.

Norm Johnston, Global CEO, Unruly, added: “At Unruly, we talk a lot about the concept of “hearts and minds”, and that’s because we never forget that there is always a real person behind the audience and emotional data we work with. We’re conscious of the role that adtech has to play in delivering a better digital experience, one that is mutually beneficial for brands, publishers and audiences. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media is a fantastic opportunity for Unruly to work with our industry peers to achieve that goal of a better, safer, more rewarding online experience, and we look forward to promoting its goals through our U7 and UNext initiatives.”

The first formal meeting of the Alliance will take place Wednesday, 19 June at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, hosted by the WFA Media Board. A panel with the Alliance, among them, representatives from founding members Unilever, Mars and Diageo, discuss their vision, goals and priorities, will take place on Tuesday 18 June. Alliance members will ask for the industry to open all meetings in Cannes with a call to action for more collective responsibility in media practices.

About the Global Alliance for Responsible Media
The Global Alliance for Responsible Media was formed to identify specific collaborative actions, processes and protocols for protecting consumers and brands from safety issues. Alliance members will work collaboratively to identify actions that will better protect consumers online, working towards a media environment where hate speech, bullying and disinformation is challenged, where personal data is protected and used responsibly when given, and where everyone, especially children, are better protected from harm. Alliance members acknowledge their collective power to significantly improve the health of the media ecosystem.

Read more about Unruly’s mission to clean up digital marketing here