Brands Battling Hate Speech | ASK Answers | All MKC Content | ANA

Brands Battling Hate Speech



How can brands take a stand against hate speech, both online and in the real world?


Unfortunately, hate speech is all too common; even worse, the ease of posting on social platforms makes it even easier to access, share, and spread. It's the responsibility for brands to not only set a better example and precedent, through more inclusive and educational advertising and content, but to curb hate speech when possible.

According to ANA, 52 percent of Americans "have experienced online hate. Expressions of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and other forms of targeted harassment against vulnerable groups and individuals is turning corners of our social media spaces toxic. Engage Responsibly built educational materials and curated resources to inform small to medium-sized businesses and consumers how to reduce online hate and create a safer and more inclusive digital space for everyone."

The resources, case studies, podcasts, and webinars below discuss how to stop online hate, provide educational tools, and show examples of how to promote positivity as well as empower both brands and individuals to create change.

Learn more about ANA's Engage Responsibly here and check out Engage Responsibly's website here. Don't forget to check out our guides on Brand Safety and Strategizing and Activating on Social Justice.


  • Engage Responsibly: Learn How You Can Help Stop Online Hate. ANA, February 2023.
    The ANA's Engage Responsibly initiative is a movement to drive understanding and action that drastically reduces online hate speech. With Anti-Defamation League research identifying that 40 percent of Americans have personally experienced online hate, it is a significant problem that we all have a role to play in solving. Engage Responsibly takes an all-in approach, harnessing the collective power of businesses, social media platforms, individuals, and NGOs, empowering everyone to do their part combating online hate. To accomplish its mission, Engage Responsibly provides education and tools for small to medium-sized businesses and individuals. This session covered four simple but powerful actions you and/or your business can take to contribute to stopping online hate.

  • Learn How to Engage Responsibly. Engage Responsibly.
    Here discover the reality of online hate and its impact on our digital communities. Learn about its true nature, the consequences for its victims, and effective options to address and help reduce online hate. More specifically for brands see the Engage Responsibly Activation Kit.

  • Brand Safety/Online Hate Quick Win Package. ANA/Demand Metric, July 2023.
    The Quick Wins Package, developed in collaboration with Engage Responsibly and the ANA, aims to provide marketers with the tools they need to combat online hate and promote inclusivity. This comprehensive package includes videos, checklists, cheat sheets, project plans, and timelines, enabling brands of all sizes, platforms, NGOs, individuals, and SMBs to contribute to a safer digital environment. By empowering stakeholders to actively engage in addressing online hate speech, the Quick Wins Package fosters a collective effort towards creating a more secure and inclusive online space for businesses and society.

    This package includes:
  • The Role of DEI in the Metaverse. ANA, November 2022.
    For consumers, being present in the metaverse enables freedom, and freedom allows individuality to flourish and brings infinite possibilities for identity expression. The metaverse will transform the way we connect. But this freedom, without accountability, can also facilitate acts of bias, bullying, and hate. This is where companies like Meta come into play. Meta is starting to think about this future now, recognizing the opportunity to help build the metaverse with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) from its inception. They recognize the complicated issues of DEI in technology, especially at a global scale. Hear how Meta is tackling these issues and striving to use their position to have a positive impact on society.

  • Create a More Sustainable and Responsible Digital Environment. ANA, December 2021.
    GARM is the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, a cross-industry initiative established by the World Federation of Advertisers to address the challenge of harmful content on digital media platforms and its monetization via advertising. Learn how GARM is working toward a media environment where hate speech, bullying, and disinformation is challenged and taking steps to ensure personal data is protected and used responsibly when given.

  • AAPI Marketing Leadership: An "Industry ERG." ANA, November 2021.
    The onset of the pandemic resulted in much hate being channeled toward the AAPI community. A group of more than 20 AAPI marketers including Sephora, Verizon, Reckitt, Charles Schwab, and Google came together to develop a response to Stop Asian Hate. What formed was a professional community — an industry ERG — that had never existed before. Today, with more than 200 AAPI marketers in this network, we share our mission and vision of how we advance and accelerate visibility for the AAPI community through the power of marketing. See also this accompanying toolkit as well as this presentation.

  • Social Media Channels Dial Up Brand Safety. ANA, August 2020.
    Navigating the waters of social media has long been a struggle for brand marketers, and recent changes to several platforms may rock the boat. As online behemoths like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit crack down on misinformation and hate speech, there's a growing onus on marketers to get a clearer picture of what's in store for their social media strategy. Here Socialfly co-founder and co-CEO Stephanie Cartin discussed the clampdown on misinformation and hate speech designed to reassure advertisers.


  • AT&T's LGBTQ+ Campaign, The Love Connection. ANA, July 2023.
    In June 2021, AT&T committed $750,000 in further support of The Trevor Project, an organization aimed at suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ youth. The company needed to lift perceptions of AT&T's commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, and its role in supporting through digital access and active allyship, outperforming benchmarks.

  • Turning Hate into Charity. ANA, May 2023.
    As a way of denouncing hurtful comments about the LGBTQ+ community from North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, Ponysaurus Brewing created a fund in his name and a specialty beer, donating proceeds to LGBTQ+ charities, supported by a cross-media campaign.

  • Content for Change: Data-Driven Insights That Drive Inclusive Storytelling. ANA, February 2023.
    Content for Change is using data-driven insights to transform the Paramount creative ecosystem, from the content produced to the creative supply chain that powers it to the culture that underpins actions taken. Debbie King, Senior Vice President of Sales Strategy at Paramount Advertising, discussed how rigorous research and data is shaping this new wave of inclusive storytelling that has the potential to transform how the world sees people — and how people see the world.

  • Respond2Racism: The First-Responder Twitter Bot. ANA, December 2021.
    To combat COVID-19 fueled anti-Asian hate, Goodby Silverstein & Partners created a Twitter bot that responded to anti-Asian tweets with messages from Asian frontline workers about the harmful effects of racist rhetoric.

  • Let's Work Together and Stop Online Hate. ANA, October 2020.
    Online hate speech has become a major industry problem that is too big for social media platforms to tackle on their own. Pernod Ricard has launched an industry initiative geared towards helping consumers report hate speech when they encounter it online. This initiative needs widespread industry support to be successful.

  • WeCounterHate. ANA, May 2019.
    Social media has provided a way for hate speech to spread faster and farther than ever. People piling on to hate, even in direct opposition to it, only makes it stronger. WeCounterHate built an AI-driven bot to identify hate speech, notifying potential retweeters that every retweet will fund an anti-hate non-profit. Results: 1 in 5 tweets is deleted by its authors and 11 million fewer people have been exposed to hate speech.

  • Later Haters: Using Influencers to Change the Narrative Around Online Hate. ANA, March 2019.
    With over half of adolescents reporting they have been bullied online in the U.S., it is clear that more leadership is needed in this area. AT&T saw this trend and collaborated with agency Fullscreen to launch the "#LaterHaters" campaign, which seeks to combat online negativity by sparking a conversation that becomes a movement to ultimately spread love over hate. AT&T and Fullscreen worked with more than 60 influencers over the past three years to help spread the message of positivity. AT&T offered insights into the campaign and tips and tricks for selecting the best influencers to help garner the most results for your campaigns.

Webinars and Podcasts

  • A Movement to Reduce Online Hate. ANA, January 2023.
    While the internet has dramatically revolutionized almost every aspect of life, there is a toxic side to the online space that simply cannot be ignored — the spread of hate speech, for which the U.S. government declared a mental health risk for young Americans. Drastically reducing online hate by 2025 is the mission of the nonprofit Engage Responsibly, led by the Association of National Advertisers in partnership with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media. Engage Responsibly harnesses the collective power of brands, social media platforms, and individuals to stop the spread of hate.

    In this episode of Beyond Profit, a podcast of the ANA Center for Brand Purpose, Anita McGorty, who leads Engage Responsibly as executive vice president at the ANA, joins host Ken Beaulieu to discuss why humanity is under attack online and what we can do about it.

  • Stop Asian Hate: Why Now and How Best to Respond as an Industry. ANA, April 2021.
    Since the pandemic started, there have been more than 3,000 incidents of hate reported by the community organization Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of non-profits advocating for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. There is both fear and concern among the Asian American community about how best to address these unprovoked attacks. In this webinar, Elliot Lum, EVP, Community and Growth, at the ANA, examined why this is happening now and how the industry can respond both collectively and as purposeful companies and brands to address these incidents of hate.

  • Drive Brand Growth Using Messaging Supporting Multicultural and Inclusive Communities. ANA, June 2020.
    ANA's Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) is leading the industry in prioritizing diversity and inclusion under the umbrella of #SeeALL: #SeeALLcultures #SeeALLidentities #SeeALLabilities. In this webinar, AIMM senior leaders and board members shared their journeys to shore up brand partnerships and take stances against xenophobia, racism, and hate targeting Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and LGBTQ segments, which escalated during the COVID pandemic.

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"Brands Battling Hate Speech." ANA, 2023.