Marketing Report
ANA's Engage Responsibly launches ad and education campaign to fight online hate news

ANA's Engage Responsibly launches ad and education campaign to fight online hate

United States’ Association of National Advertisers ANA’s Engage Responsibly (ER) has launched a new advertising and education campaign designed to elevate brand and consumer awareness to stop the proliferation of online hate. 

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 52 percent of Americans have experienced online hate due to their racial, religious, or sexual identity. Of those experiencing online hate, 26 percent reported mental health effects, while 11 percent were impacted economically from factors including withdrawing from online activity because of the experience.

ANA's online hate campaign includes a brand activation kit to provide marketers with tools to promote ER and its mission. ER consists of a wide range of materials and assets designed to help consumers and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBS) become educated about online hate and learn how they can use ER resources to help eliminate it.

Bill Tucker, President ER and Group EVP, ANA: "ER is all about education, and we're very proud of the materials we have assembled to help consumers and marketers learn about online hate. Our assets are valuable tools that have been developed in consultation with our many partners, especially the Better Business Bureau, and we urge consumers and SMBS to immediately take advantage of them."

Tucker noted that ER is a nonprofit 501(c)3 operating foundation owned and led by the ANA. It was originally founded by Pernod Ricard in 2020 and donated to the ANA in 2021. Its mission is to leverage the collective power of big brands, social media platforms, NGOs, consumers and SMBs to drive impact on the online hate issue through awareness building and education.

The new ad campaign, "Theo's Story," was created by Ogilvy and includes three online videos and one print execution.

The videos follow the story of an LGBTQ+ young man impacted by online hate and serve as the heart of the campaign. All campaign assets drive visitors to the website for additional information, educational videos and other support resources.

Media is being handled by Publicis Collective, with all partners donating their time pro bono. Platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snap and Google as well as The Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and Hearst donated media. The launch is the beginning of an ongoing, sustained campaign.

A corresponding Engage Responsibly Brand Activation Kit provides turnkey ways for brands to activate Engage Responsibly assets—such as the campaign or educational programs—through their brand channels and organizations.

"This campaign and the accompanying activation kit represents a major step in ANA's ongoing effort to educate consumers and small-to-medium-size business about online hate," said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. "I urge all brands to adopt the steps outlined in the toolkit and do their part in helping scale Engage Responsibly education."

ANA's leadership efforts for ER include:

  • An education program, including 32 original education video modules, and curated resource library.
  • The development of the website destination for Engage Responsibly Experience.
  • The creation of the Better Business Bureau partnership to scale ER to their SMB network of six million companies.
  • The establishment of Engage Responsibly as a 501c3 non-profit foundation.
  • Building the Engage Responsibly board, which includes marketers Pernod Ricard, Walmart, AT&T, Shell, L'Oréal, DoubleVerify and additional companies to be announced (throughout 2023 and 2024).

Ann Mukherjee, North America Chairwoman, Pernod Ricard and CEO and Engage Responsibly Chairwoman: "The fight against online hate is not just about technology; it's about preserving our essential human connection. In a digital world that can sometimes feel disconnected, we believe it's vital to remember that every online interaction represents a real person on the other side of the screen. This new campaign reminds us all of the power of empathy, kindness, and understanding in our virtual spaces, and how vital it is that all of us work to keep these ecosystems safe."

ER 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.