ANA Introduces New Educational Program to Combat Online Hate Speech

Program For Businesses and Consumers Is Key Part of  Trade Group’s #EngageResponsibly Initiative, in Collaboration with GARM

NEW YORK (August 31, 2022) — The ANA today introduced a new educational program for businesses and consumers designed to help combat online hate speech. This program is part of the trade group’s #EngageResponsibly initiative.

Founded by Pernod Ricard and donated to the ANA to scale the initiative, #EngageResponsibly is led by the ANA in partnership with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM). Its mission is to leverage the collective power of big brands, platforms, NGOs, the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, the Brand Safety Institute, and Ogilvy to empower and engage small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and consumers to drastically reduce online hate speech.

The educational program will be housed within a new website as the ANA collaborates with the Better Business Bureau to scale and pilot it with SMBs in advance of an official campaign launch later this year.

“This new program represents a major step forward in the ongoing fight against online hate speech – a fight the marketing industry is committed to win,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “#EngageResponsibly provides businesses and consumers with a valuable set of tools to create a healthy and safe online environment for everyone.”

Ann Mukherjee, Chairman-CEO of Pernod Ricard North America and chair of the #EngageResponsibly initiative added: “Businesses have an influential role to play in combating hate speech and fostering an online environment where consumers feel safe to engage.  This new education program will have a tremendous ripple effect across the business community, and we look forward to the evolution of the platform.”

To scale the program, the BBB will distribute and engage its six-million strong SMB network with #EngageResponsibly’s education and content. The BBB partnership will serve as an SMB pilot to drive learnings in advance of the Q4 campaign launch.

“BBB believes in the power of trust and transparency and that the internet can be a source for trustworthy, reliable information for consumers and businesses,” said Kip Morse, CEO of the International Association of Better Business Bureaus.  “It is not a source for hate speech. We are excited to join in this initiative and to work with businesses across North America to gain further knowledge about how to engage responsibly online.”

The education program was built collaboratively with the online platforms and produced by the Brand Safety Institute.  It includes components and features, captured in a new, easily navigated website. Its “About, Learn, Act” structure will house the entire #EngageResponsibly experience.

  • More than 36 original video education modules created across businesses and individuals.
  • An expansive, vetted resource library and downloadable tools.
  • Education modules in Spanish, addressing the problem that 47% of Hispanics have experienced online hate*, often in Spanish language. *Source Pew Research
  • Closed-captioned capability for accessibility.
  • One-click sharing capabilities with buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Email.

“Combatting online hate speech requires an all-in approach at the community level,” said Rob Rakowitz, Initiative Lead, Global Alliance for Responsible Media.  “#EngageResponsibly helps take a lot of the work GARM and its member organizations do at a global level and helps to make it more accessible to key pillars of local communities – small businesses and their marketers. It’s been encouraging to see many of our members collaborate on this effort over time, making it easier to combat online hate.”

The program teaches actions to combat online hate speech, such as how to report online hate on each of the major platforms and how to diffuse online hate content with counter speech.  It also offers instructions on how to use technology to protect an online presence and how users can invite others into this important movement.

An advertising campaign to motivate SMBs and consumers to act is being developed by Ogilvy and will be launched later this year. A corresponding measurement plan has been developed to assess the program’s impact.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 40 percent of Americans have experienced online hate due to their racial, religious, or sexual identity. Of those experiencing online hate, 20 percent reported feeling anxious or having trouble sleeping and concentrating, while 13 percent struggled with more severe mental health outcomes, and more than 29 percent of Americans stopped, reduced, or changed online activity because of the experience.

#EngageResponsibly is part of the ANA Growth Agenda’s Society and Sustainability priorities, which includes brand safety, and guided by the principle that brands should be a force for good as well as a force for growth.

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ABOUT THE ANA

The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

ABOUT #ENGAGERESPONSIBLY
Seeded and donated by Pernod Ricard to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), #EngageResponsibly is an initiative spearheaded by the ANA together with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), and with support from capability creators the Brand Safety Institute (BSI), Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), and Ogilvy. Partnering with the Better Business Bureau to scale the effort with small to medium size businesses, #EngageResponsibly is creating a movement to fight online hate speech. We know that hate is not good for humanity and it’s not good for business. Join us!

MEDIA CONTACT:

ANA
John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663
Email: jwolfe@ana.net