ANA Calls on Marketing Industry to Combat Online Hate Speech | About the ANA | ANA

ANA Calls on Marketing Industry to Combat Online Hate Speech

90 Major Companies Pledge to Support #EngageResponsibly Initiative

NEW YORK (March 16, 2022) — Ninety leading marketers, agencies, media companies, social media platforms, trade groups, and NGOs have pledged to take definitive action to combat online hate speech through their support of the ANA’s #EngageResponsibly initiative.

The companies have signed the #Engage Responsibly pledge, which was published today in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Hispanic Ad. Participants include a wide range of some of the most prominent, well-known brands in the world.

#EngageResponsibly’s mission is to help brands, social media platforms, and consumers to drastically reduce online hate speech. It seeks to leverage the power of big brands to empower and engage small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and consumers to act against online hate.

Signatories to the #EngageResponsibly pledge have committed to combating online hate speech by leveraging the voice of their brands via social media and other outlets to amplify #EngageResponsibly and drive society to action and education.

Signing the #EngageResponsibly pledge helps participants combat online hate speech by taking recommended actions that are part of the pledge:

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

“Online hate is unacceptable in today’s media ecosystem and is an issue that deserves the marketing community’s full attention,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The ANA is proud to be at the center of a movement that invites brands, businesses, and consumers to unite in unleashing their collective power to drive positive societal change. #EngageResponsibly is one of the ANA’s most important initiatives and I urge all companies to participate by signing the pledge.”

Founded by Pernod Ricard, #EngageResponsibly is now led by the ANA in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM). The ANA and GARM are building the initiative with an educational development team that includes social media platform executives.

“We started this journey two years ago with a single dream: to bring the industry together and build a movement to fight online hate speech and create safer spaces for our consumers and communities,” said Ann Mukherjee, chairman of and CEO at Pernod Ricard North America and co-chair of #EngageResponsibly. “Today, under the unparalleled leadership of the ANA and with the unwavering support of GARM, the dream has become a reality. I am grateful to every individual and organization that has courageously taken a stand with us. This is our return on responsibility and a significant step toward winning the future together.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 35 percent of Americans have experienced online hate due to their racial, religious, or sexual identity. Of those experiencing hate, 45 percent of Americans reported cumulative negative physical or mental health effects due to online harassment and more than 35 percent of Americans stopped, reduced, or changed online activity because of the experience.

#EngageResponsibly will include a robust set of assets, launching in the coming months. They include an educational series and no-cost tools for SMBs and consumers to take actions spanning responsible media practices, counter-speech, and reporting online hate speech incidents. A dedicated website to serve as the hub for the education experience will also be developed.

The #EngageResponsibly pledge and its signatories can be accessed at



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.

John Wolfe
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