by on April 29, 2019 Read Time: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Folake Ani-Mumuney

Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) has re-echoed World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) call on all brands globally to hold social media platforms accountable for contents pushed out. This is coming as a result of recent failures to block dangerous and hateful contents online.

WFA Regional Vice President for Africa, and President ADVAN, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said while companies must decide their own approaches, WFA is calling on its members and brands worldwide in their capacity as the funders of the online advertising system to put pressure on platforms to prevent their services and algorithms from being hijacked by those with malicious intent.

The call comes after multiple incidents on some of the worlds biggest digital platforms, including, paedophile comments being left in comments below videos of children on YouTube, the glorification of self-harm and suicide content on Instagram and, most recently, the live-streaming of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on Facebook.

Advertisers fund all these platforms and as such, those that make them profitable have a moral responsibility to consider more than just the effectiveness and efficiency they provide for brand messages.

ADVAN, together with the WFA, is standing alongside its member association and colleagues at the Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA), which has issued a call asking for members to think carefully about where they place advertising and challenging platform owners to do more.

This is not an issue of brand safety, this is a moral question to hold social media platforms to account in the same way we do for traditional media, says ANZA Chief Executive, Lindsay Mouat.Improving the online ecosystem is a top priority for WFA members. Forty-seven per cent of respondents to a WFA member barometer conducted this month of more than 200 senior marketers from over 100 brands representing $125 billion in ad spend cited improving the online advertising ecosystem as the single biggest issue the marketing industry needed to address in 2019.

The influence of online platforms in shaping cultures and mobilizing communities around the world is already significant and growing ever more so. This means brands and platforms must assume a higher level of responsibility to ensure these online environments are forces for good, not conflict or violence. That begins with acknowledging flaws and quickly investing in lasting solutions. To drive change we need less debate and more action, said Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard and WFA President.