Google, Facebook partner with advertisers on 'digital safety'

Google, Facebook partner with advertisers on 'digital safety'
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Some of the world’s biggest advertisers are partnering with internet platforms such as Facebook and Google to try to “rapidly improve digital safety.”

Members of the World Federation of Advertising, a global ad trade group, announced on Tuesday they had teamed up with tech and media companies to form a group called the Global Alliance for Responsible Media.

“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,” the alliance said in a press release announcing the move. “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.”

The announcement wasn't clear on what actions the new coalition will be taking, but the focus of the collaboration will be to pressure companies like Facebook and Google to clean up their platforms. The group will also work “to develop and deliver against a concrete set of actions, processes and protocols for protecting brands.”

Among those in the partnership include major advertisers such as Adidas, General Mills, Nestlé and Proctor & Gamble, as well as several trade associations and ad agencies. And the media platforms involved include Facebook, Google, Twitter and Verizon Media.

The move comes at a time when Google and Facebook, the internet’s two largest advertising platforms, have been under increasing pressure to purge their sites of hateful, abusive and illicit content.

“We’ve been tolerant for too long,” P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said at an industry conference earlier this year. “It’s not acceptable to have brands showing up where opioids are being offered, where illegal drugs are promoted, where abhorrent behavior is present or where violence is seen. The apologies are heartfelt and appreciated, but that’s not good enough.”

The alliance represents the first time that all sectors of the advertising ecosystem have partnered up, the group said in the release.

The coalition will have its first formal meeting Thursday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a major marketing conference in France.